MOSCOW, August 20 (RIA Novosti) – Timur Bekmambetov, who directed some of Russia’s highest-grossing films, is in talks with the MGM film studio about remaking the classic historical epic “Ben-Hur,” Deadline.com reported Monday.
Released in 1959, “Ben-Hur” won 11 Academy Awards, including one for best picture – a record broken only in 1997 by David Cameron’s “Titanic,” according to entertainment and film website IMDb.com. That rendition of “Ben-Hur,” though, was actually a remake of a 1925 silent movie based on the 1880 novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ” by Lew Wallace.
The film follows a Jewish nobleman who lived in Roman Judea at the same time as Jesus Christ. Unjustly sentenced to the galleys for life, the nobleman, Judah Ben-Hur, finds freedom and returns home to take revenge on the judge in a thrilling chariot race. During the film, Ben-Hur encounters Jesus several times and eventually becomes a Christian.
Kazakh-born Bekmambetov shot to global fame with the 2004 release of the Russian vampire blockbuster “Night Watch” and its sequel, “Day Watch.” He directed three of the 10 top-grossing Russian films released after the 1991 Soviet collapse, according to filmography site Kinopoisk.ru.
Bekmambetov’s Hollywood credits include the 2012 fantasy horror “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” and the 2009 crime thriller “Wanted,” which starred Angelina Jolie. Bekmambetov also produced “Apollo 18,” a 2011 sci-fi horror directed by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego.