'Wanted' director Timur Bekmembatov is set to crack the whip on a new version of 'Ben-Hur'
There is no weirder trend right now than the sudden resurgence of the Biblical epic.
Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" sounds like one of the weirdest movies of all time. The script was fascinating, a hybrid of a moral tale and a monster movie,and Ridley Scott is evidently gearing up to make a Moses movie with Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, and Aaron Paul called "Exodus."
I'm not sure I understand the sudden urge. If the idea is to try to reach out to traditional conservative Christian groups, I'm not sure hiring the directors of "Wanted," "Requiem For A Dream," and "Black Hawk Down" is the way to do that. At least with Aronofsky and Scott, they've demonstrated some range as filmmakers in the past. Bekmembatov, on the other hand, is a sensation junkie ADD lunatic. That's not necessarily a negative judgment, just an observation. There are very few people who would have ever approached something like "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" with the straight-faced utter lack of humor that he did, and the idea of him shooting something like a new souped-up version of the chariot race from "Ben-Hur" is so decadent that I almost can't contain my glee.
I have seen every version of "Ben-Hur" over the years, and I confess that I don't see the appeal in telling the story again. Keith Clarke, who wrote the Peter Weir film "The Way Back," wrote this new version as a spec, which is possible since the book was published in 1880. MGM bought the script for Sean Daniel and Joni Levin to produce, and they've been working to pin down Bekmembatov for the better part of a month.
Ultimately, none of this really matters if Bekmembatov ends up having a great take on Clarke's script, and if the script is really strong. There's no such thing as foolproof source material, and likewise, just because I don't see the appeal in something, that doesn't mean someone else didn't have a brilliant vision for how to make the story both relevant and exciting. I would love for Aronofksy's "Noah" to be brilliant, and I would love to see Bekmembatov bend his deranged visual sensibilities to something that really challenged him as a piece of writing. I guess we'll see, since it sounds like MGM wants to move forward on this quickly.
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
Let Streaming Genie help you.