Morgan Freeman to star in Ben-Hur

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 12 September 2014
Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman is the first actor to sign up for the upcoming remake of 'Ben-Hur', based on Lew Wallace's 1880 novel

Morgan Freeman is to star in 'Ben-Hur'.

'The Shawshank Redemption' star is the first of Paramount and director Timur Bekmambetov's castings for the upcoming remake of the 1959 film based on Lew Wallace's 1880 novel 'Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ', Deadline reports.

Freeman is to take on the role of Ildarin, the man who teaches the slave Ben-Hur to become a champion-caliber chariot racer, in the film which will more closely follow Wallace's novel than the previous film - which starred Charlton Heston.

The studios are reportedly also getting closer to finding actors to portray Judah Ben-Hur and his friend-turned-bitter-rival Messala.

Tom Hiddleston was said to be in talks to star as Ben-Hur but it is so far unclear whether he has taken the part.

Bekmambetov will be directing from a script written by Keith Clarke and edited by John Ridley with Mark Burnett and Daniel and Joni Levin acting as producers and Clarke and Jason Brown executive producing alongside Roma Downey.

Freeman is currently starring with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy' and recently signed on for 'Ted 2'.

'Ben-Hur' is scheduled for release on February 26, 2016.


  • 3 stars
  • 2016
  • US
  • 2h 3min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov
  • Cast: Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell, Nazanin Boniadi
  • UK release: 7 September 2016

Judah Ben-Hur (Huston) is a wronged nobleman who does a lot of stuff but chiefly races in a chariot against adopted brother Messala (Kebbell). Forgettable and largely pointless remake of the 1959 classic, heavy on the action but light on plot, characterisation or entertainment.

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