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One of the more entertaining action flicks I’ve seen in the last few years is Timur Bekmambetov’s adaptation of Wanted, starring Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy as bullet-bending assassins fighting for their lives. Between Bekmambetov’s visual prowess and the film’s gleeful amount of gun-firing intensity, I walked out of the film like I’d just hopped off an amusement park thrill ride, ready to give the whole ordeal another go around.
After finding box office success, producers were also keen to give the property another go, and the studio hired back original writers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas to delve deeper into J.G. Jones and Mark Millar’s source comic for an even more explosive sequel – then everything went dark on Wanted 2. The only real bit of concrete news we learned was that Angelina Jolie wouldn’t be reprising her role for the sequel, because, »
- Matt Donato
Not a lot to say in the pre-amble to this week’s selection of titles. Should probably apologise for the negativity in advance because a lot of the below is dreck this week across any content provider apart from the occasional bright spot and a new Netflix exclusive. Hopefully you will be able to at least find something worth a look that floats your boat.
This week’s titles of note are as follows:
There really isn’t anymore praise that I can heap on Alfonso Cuaron’s outer space thrill ride that hasn’t been heaped upon it already. Upon repeat viewing what impresses more and more is the technical marvel that this film represents with Gravity being a massive leap forward in the use of virtual sets as well as animation that looks like real people.
There are apparently whole entire scenes here featuring Sandra Bullock and »
- Chris Holt
It’s hard enough to pick movies that connect with audiences. Today, studio chiefs like Gianopulos must navigate a rapidly shifting landscape where consumer demands, piracy and the collapse of the DVD market, as well as increasing competition from online diversions and quality cable TV shows, are wreaking havoc on the financial underpinnings of the film business. Media companies like Fox’s parent 21st Century Fox are on a quest to grow bigger in order to compete with digital superpowers like Google and pending mergers between cable and telco giants like Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and At&T and DirecTV. Gianopulos’ uberboss, 21st Century Fox chief Rupert Murdoch, made a surprise $80 billion bid to buy Time Warner that was rejected and he subsequently withdrew. But consolidation, it seems, is coming.
Photo by Art Streiber for »
- Brent Lang
Things get explodey in the Empire Podcast this week, what with Expendables 3 in cinemas, and Terry Crews and Wesley Snipes in the booth. Look forward to the former talking about his love of Nando's, the robot dance and pec-popping, as the latter does the Blade voice and imagines what an Expendables character called "Jazz Gumbo" would sound like.Elsewhere, Empire Podcast fan (and martial artist / Expendables 2 star) Scott Adkins gets a special shout-out-cum-apology, Timur Bekmambetov and David Michôd get their names horribly mangled, and petrol stations in the movies get their chance to shine (and hopefully not catch fire). P.S. You can check out our podcast photo gallery here and subscribe to the Empire Podcast via our iTunes page or this handy RSS feed. You can subscribe to the magazine here if you like it in paper form, or here if you prefer things digitally. »
The Thor actor is said to be a firm favorite with Timur Bekmambetov to play Judah Ben-Hur, in the forthcoming screen adaption of Lee Wallace’s classic 1880 novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ. However, there are rumours that this might not come together at the moment due to Hiddleston’s other work commitments with I Saw The Light and High-rise.
Scheduled to be released in cinemas 2016, this new version of the film will follow the younger years of Jewish prince Judah, and his friend Messala, who both grew up in Jerusalem before the Roman Empire took over. The original Ben-hur was a silent film in 1925, which was then remade in 1959 starring Charlton Heston. The film had the biggest sets ever made for a film at the time, »
- Louise Tooth
Maggie: Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in Maggie as the father of a teenage girl who is slowly turning into a zombie. It's a rare straight dramatic turn for the famed action star, as demonstrated by a new photo. The film will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival early next month. [The Playlist] Ben-Hur: Will Tom Hiddleston (in Thor: The Dark World, above) play the titular character in a new version of Ben-Hur? Reportedly, the actor is being "courted" for the role, although he has not yet been offered it. The new version will supposedly spend more time on a parallel tale involving Jesus Christ, while the main story will remain focused on a feud between Ben-Hur and Massala, the son of a Roman tax collector. Timur Bekmambetov (Abraham Lincoln...
- Peter Martin
Director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) is in the process of developing a Ben-Hur film for MGM and Paramount Pictures. According to Deadline, they've set a release date for February 26, 2016, and they are looking to cast Tom Hiddleston as Judah Ben-Hur.
The film will be based on the 1880 Lew Wallace novel Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ, so it's more of an adaptation than it is a remake. I think it's great, too. As big a fan as I am of the original movie, I think a new vision of the story with today's filmmaking technology could be incredible.
No offer has been made yet, so the actor hasn't officially been cast. According to the report, there are other film offers that he's considering, and he can't do them all. A movie like Ben-Hur seems like it would be a huge deal, though. I mean… it's Ben freakin' Hur!
I think it'd »
- Joey Paur
The story of his redemption runs parallel to the life and crucifixion of Jesus, who is active in the region at the same time.
Charlton Heston starred in the famous 1959 film.
Hiddleston has said that he will not reprise his role as Loki in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Development of Ben-Hur is in the early stages. The film is scheduled for release on February 26, 2016. »
Deadline is reporting that Bekmambetov is interested in Tom Hiddleston for the role. I don't think anyone is in doubt that Hiddleston has the ability to absolutely kill in this role.
Here's a synopsis courtesy of Barnes & Noble:
The story takes its Jewish hero, Judah Ben-Hur, across the Roman Empire of the first century, initially on a quest for revenge against the Roman childhood friend who betrayed him and then finally on a more spiritual quest to understand the nature of the new teacher Jesus Christ.
Ben-Hur is set for release on February 26, 2016.
Source: Deadline »
- Philip Sticco
Word is MGM, Paramount and director Timur Bekmambetov are courting Tom Hiddleston to star in Bekmambetov's questionable Ben-Hur remake with Hiddleston to play the title role of Judah Ben-Hur. Of course, I'm sure the word "remake" is something the production will avoid considering they wouldn't likely want to be compared to William Wyler's 1959, Charlton Heston-led classic. Then again, with all the CGI that's likely to be used I doubt there will be much of a comparison to be made. Like the 1959 version and the 1925 silent film, this one will be an adaptation of the 1880 Lew Wallace novel "Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ" and the screenplay was written by Keith R. Clarke (The Way Back). Clarke's version is said to hue more closely to the book than previous versions, playing up a parallel storyline involving Jesus Christ along with the blood feud between Ben-Hur and Messala. As much »
- Brad Brevet
Once a novel has already been adapted into a classic film, there’s understandably a lot of pushback against any attempts at another adaptation after that. Such is the case with Ben-Hur, the 1959 adaptation of Lew Wallace’s “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ”, which starred Charlton Heston as the eponymous Judah Ben-Hur, a wealthy Jewish merchant who is condemned to slavery by his childhood friend, Messala, a commander of the Roman garrison.
Ben-Hur held the record for most Academy Awards for decades, which means that the upcoming revamp from Night Watch director Timur Bekmambetov has quite a legacy to live up to. The spec script by Keith Clarke has recently been given a re-write by Oscar-winning 12 Years a ...
- H. Shaw-Williams
With a 2016 release date already in place, MGM and Paramount’s Ben-Hur remake is closing in on a lead. Tom Hiddleston is reportedly being courted for the title role, which was played by Charlton Heston in the 1959 movie. Hit the jump for the latest updates on the Ben-Hur remake. Timur Bekmambetov is directing the […]
- Angie Han
MGM and Paramount are remaking the classic "Ben-Hur," with Timur Bekmambetov directing. Because they can. And because, well, why not, they're seeking out Tom Hiddleston for the title role. Right now, development is in early stages, and the actor has a few projects to consider, including another MGM pic, "Me Before You." So no word yet if Loki will ride a newfangled chariot when the film hits on February 26, 2016. If this movie has to be made, we'd be happy to see him lead it. [Deadline] "Dexter" star Michael C. Hall is returning to TV to lead the miniseries "God Fearing Man." As Stanley Kubrick fans know, it's one of the Lost And Unmade Projects the filmmaker never got to during his lifetime. Once slated as a feature, a couple years back it was refashioned for TV, chronicling the true story of "Canadian minister Herbert Emerson Wilson, who went on to become »
- Kevin Jagernauth
About two years ago, it was reported that MGM and Paramount Pictures were working on a remake of "Ben-Hur," which is based on the 1880 Lew Wallace novel that outsold every book (outside of the Bible) until it was eventually beaten by "Gone With the Wind." It was then reported that "Wanted" helmer Timur Bekmambetov signed on direct from a script by Keith Clarke (The Way Back) and John Ridley (12 Years a Slave). The film also got a release date of February 26th, 2016. Now comes word that the studios are in talks with Tom Hiddleston, who played Loki in "The Avengers," to take the lead role. The plan is to take more elements from the book than the original film did by focusing more on the storyline involving Jesus Christ. »
Maggie: Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in Maggie as the father of a teenage girl who is slowly turning into a zombie. It's a rare straight dramatic turn for the famed action star, as demonstrated by a new photo. The film will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival early next month. [The Playlist] Ben-Hur: Will Tom Hiddleston (in Thor: The Dark World, above) play the titular character in a new version of Ben-Hur? Reportedly, the actor is being "courted" for the role, although he has not yet been offered it. The new version will supposedly spend more time on a parallel tale involving Jesus Christ, while the main story will remain focused on a feud between Ben-Hur and Massala, the son of a Roman tax collector. Timur Bekmambetov (Abraham Lincoln:...
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With Timur Bekmambetov in place to direct, John Ridley figuring out the latest script draft and a 2016 release date racing towards MGM and Paramount like a runaway chariot, it appears the team behind the new Ben-Hur adaptation have a leading man in mind for the remake. Their choice? Tom Hiddleston.Before you start writing your Hur-ddleston fan fiction and dreaming up costume concepts, pull back on the reins. He’s only being wooed to take the part so far; talks have yet to even commence and Hiddleston is a man in demand, and is being courted for the likes of Me Before You (which is also produced by MGM, so that could likely be worked out).Taken once again from Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel, the new version aims to follow more of the younger days of Judah Ben-Hur and Messala, best friends growing up in Jerusalem before the Roman Empire takes over. »
The planned remake of Ben Hur already has a director in place, with Timur Bekmambetov - of Wanted fame - lined up to steer the project. But the film, backed by Paramount and MGM, is now homing in on a lead actor. And reports suggest that it has Tom Hiddleston in its crosshairs.
Hiddleston, who is nearing the end of production on Ben Wheatley's High-Rise right now, already has Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak shot. The new Ben Hur has been put together by screenwriters Keith Clarke and John Ridley. The book Ben Hur: A Tale Of The Christ has been used as the source for their script.
The chariots are calling Loki, and the Avengers villain just might answer. MGM is digging deep into its back catalog to resurrect Ben-Hur for a new audience, under the stewardship of director Timur Bekmambetov. It stands to reason that the part would be one of the most highly in-demand in Hollywood, and MGM surely could have gone with a big name, or a fresh face. Instead, they might be splitting the difference, eying a man familiar to most audiences, but still as-yet-untested in a lead role. Deadline reports that MGM wants Tom Hiddleston to star as the famous slave-turned-champion in 2016's Ben-Hur. This version is said to be more closely based on the novel Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ, where the fate of Judah Ben-Hur is contrasted with Jesus Christ. Yep, you've got religion in my gladiator epic! No, you've got gladiator epic in my religion! Oh boy! John »
Deadline is reporting tonight that MGM and Paramount have their eye on Tom Hiddleston for the lead role in their Ben-Hur remake, which currently has Wanted helmer Timur Bekmambetov attached to direct. If he signs on, the actor would step into the role of Judah Ben-Hur, which Charlton Heston played in the 1959 classic, and also won an Oscar for.
This new version of the biblical epic, which was penned by 12 Years a Slave scribe John Ridley, is said to focus “on the nature of faith,” and follows a “falsely accused nobleman who sets out to take vengeance on the best friend who betrayed him.” It’s also being reported that the story of Jesus Christ will be more prominent in this version of the film, which makes sense seeing as Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, producers of The Bible miniseries, are on board to produce here as well.
As for Hiddleston, »
- Matt Joseph
Tom Hiddleston as Ben-Hur? MGM and Paramount are hoping to make that happen. With a release date of February 26, 2016 already set for the studios' forthcoming adaptation of the 1880 Lew Wallace novel, the "Avengers" star is being eyed to take on the title role in the film for director Timur Bekmambetov ("The Darkest Hour"), according to Deadline. If Hiddleston were to take on the part, he would be the fifth actor to play the iconic character after Herman Rottger (1907), Ramon Novarro (1925), Charlton Heston (1959) and Joseph Morgan (2010). Set in Jerusalem at the beginning of the 1st century, "Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ" tells the story of Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur and his rivalry with childhood friend Messala, a Roman commanding officer who has him falsely convicted for an alleged assassination attempt on the Roman governor. After being condemned to the Roman galleys, Judah later returns to Jerusalem to seek revenge on »
- Chris Eggertsen
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