Boardwalk Empire’s Jack Huston will take on Charlton Heston’s iconic role in the Ben-Hur remake. The film will be directed by vampire expert Timur Bekmambetov (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), who knows how to modernize old stories. However, the 2016 version of Ben-Hur will not include vampires (sorry!). It will, like the Heston version, be based on Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel, Ben-Hur, A Tale of the Christ, which is considered “the most influential Christian book of the nineteenth century.” Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince who becomes enslaved breaks free and converts to Christianity.
The Ben-Hur remake is being produced by hard-core Christian Mark Burnett, the executive producer of reality TV shows including Survivor and Shark Tank. (Burnett is one of the most successful producers of all time.) He recently produced the Emmy Award nominated TV mini-series The Bible which aired in 2013 on The History Channel. (It was turned into a feature film about the life of Jesus, Son of God.) Burnett was inspired (with his partner wife Roma Downey) after watching Cecil B. DeMille’s version of The Ten Commandments. Together they wrote the op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal, “Why Public Schools Should Teach the Bible.”