A nobleman, Judah Ben-Hur, is falsely accused of an assassination attempt by his boyhood friend Messala. He survives years of slavery under the Romans and attempts to get revenge by challenging his adoptive brother in a grand chariot race while being forever changed after a series of encounters with Jesus of Nazareth.
The film is based in the 1880 novel of the same name by Lew Wallace, and has already spawned two films in 1925 and 1959, with the 1959 release proving to be a blockbuster. This time around the film stars Jack Huston (as Ben-Hur), Toby Kebbell (as Messala), and Morgan Freeman amongst others.
To say this film has a lot to live up to compared to the 1959 one would be an understatement.
The 1959 version starred Charlton Heston and at over 3 and half hours in length was a monster of a film. It is well remembered for using 10,000 extras, as well as it’s famous nine-minute chariot race. The film cost a whopping $15 million to make (which with inflation works out as $122 million in current money), and was make of break for the film company MGM. However once released it brought in over $140 million at the box office, and MGM were saved. Ironically this one of MGM’s first big releases since it recovered from bankruptcy which it experienced in 2010.
It was the fastest and highest grossing film of that year (1959), and the second-highest grossing film of all time up to that point. It won a record 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and Best Cinematography, Colour, an accomplishment that was not equaled until Titanic in 1997 and then again by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2003.
The film is due for UK release on 26th August, but you can view the latest trailer below.