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Jack Hudson to play title role in ‘Ben Hur’

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NEW DELHI: Jack Hudson has landed the role of the Biblical character Judah in MGM and Paramount Pictures remake of the 1959 classic Ben Hur that had gone on to become a box office hit.

Timur Bekmambetov, who earlier made Wanted is directing the classic. Scripted by the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave scribe John Ridley and Keith Clarke, the film is expected to be released on 26 February 2016.

The film is based on Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel ‘Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ’, and follows a falsely accused nobleman who survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his best friend who betrayed him. It was also made in 1925 as a silent film.

Huston is best known for his role in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire as Richard Harrow and recently signed on to co-star in the adaptation of Pride Prejudice and Zombies.

Paramount Pictures has already seen success from this genre with the movie Noah, Darren Aronofsky’s take on the story of Noah’s Arc starring Russell Crowe. That film grossed $359 million worldwide, including more than $100 million domestically.

Fox and Chernin have just wrapped production on their latest film Exodus: Gods and Kings about Moses, which is slated to release in December and stars Christian Bale. The studio is also developing a King David film produced by Ridley Scott. 

The 1959 Ben-Hur was directed by William Wyler, produced by Sam Zimbalist for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Griffith and Haya Harareet.  It had the largest budget at $15.175 million and the largest sets built for any film produced at the time. This was followed by a $14.7 million marketing effort. It was the fastest-grossing as well as the highest grossing film of 1959, in the process becoming the second-highest grossing film in history at the time after Gone with the Wind. It won a record 11 Academy Awards.

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