Dutch actor Marwan Kenzari has landed a role in the new "Ben-Hur" film adaptation says Deadline.
Keith Clarke ("The Way Back") wrote the initial adapted script before John Ridley took over.
The story is based on the bestselling 1880 book by Civil War General Lew Wallace. The property was adapted for big screen once before as William Wyler's 1959 film starring Charlton Heston.Wallace's novel is in the public domain.
"Boardwalk Empire" and "American Hustle" cohort Jack Huston
is playing the lead. The epic drama follows a falsely accused nobleman
who survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his best friend who
betrayed him.Toby Kebbell will play that best friend, turned villainous Messala--who was portrayed by Stephen Boyd in the cinema classic.
Kenzari will play Druses, a Roman captain who is tied to Messala’s
betrayal, which sends Ben-Hur into slavery, and ultimately on a path to
redemption. Terence Longdon played the part previously.
Gal Gadot was eyed to play Esther a slave and Ben-Hur’s love interest. She vacated the film recently due to her
stint as Wonder Woman in the various Warner Bros/DC Entertainment flicks on the way. The part was played in the older classic by Israeli actress Haya Harareet.
Morgan Freeman will play Ildarin, the man who teaches the slave Ben-Hur to become a champion-caliber chariot racer.
Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal is in talks to play Pontius Pilate in the film who is an important part in the story which includes a parallel storyline involving Jesus Christ.
MGM is said to be keen on Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov ("Wanted," "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter") vision which explores the original story's themes of revenge and redemption. Paramount will co-distribute the remake
Sean Daniel and Joni Levin will produce the film.
Production begins in Europe early next year for a February 2016 release.