Even if you haven’t seen it, it’s not possible you haven’t heard of it. The history of Hollywood cinema would be incomplete without mentioning the 1959 Charlton Heston-starrer ‘Ben Hur’.
The third longest movie ever made in Hollywood was also the most expensive, and its set was the biggest ever constructed for any film. ‘Ben Hur’ also holds the record for the biggest tally, eleven in all, of Oscars awarded to a single film. Regretting you missed it? No worries, come August, you’ll have a chance to re-live the cinematic experience that wowed two generations before yours.
To take on a remake, or as he prefers to call it ‘an adaptation’ of the original William Wyler epic requires courage equal to that of the ‘prince-turned-slave’ protagonist of the drama, Judah Ben-Hur, but director Timur Bekmambetov is up for the challenge.
Stepping into the sandals of Charlton Heston is an equally daunting task, but former ‘Boardwalk Empire’ star Jack Huston is confident he can walk as tall as Heston, and drive a chariot with as much aplomb. He’s lost 30 lbs to achieve the ‘lean and hungry’ look the role requires, and has trained for months to control the chariot reins.
Given that very little CGI has been used to enhance the epic finale of the chariot race, for cinema-lovers who missed the chance to see the first ‘Ben Hur’ on the big screen, it’s going to be the ride of a lifetime.