Re-imagining Ben-Hur

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This is a big week for Ben Hur as it premieres all over the world. The cast of Timur Bekmambetov’s Ben Hur including Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro, Pilou Asbaek, Ayelet Zurer and Jarreth Merz appeared at the TCL Chinese theatre in Hollywood on Tuesday for the films premiere. They came out to tell their story and emphasized that the film was not necessarily a remake, but a reimagining of Ben Hur for 2016.
Producer Sean Daniel told The Hollywood Reporter “It’s important to say that this isn’t a remake of the incredible William Wyler film. It is our re-imagining of Ben-Hur for 2016. We went back to the book, the incredible novel by Lew Wallace: Ben-Hur, A Tale of the Christ. We drew from the novel for our story [and] for our themes.”

Daniel also shared that the tale between the two brothers ends in a way that will surprise audiences. “There is no question that these two brothers are out for revenge,” Daniel shared. “The question is: How does it resolve itself? In 1959, Judah ended the chariot race with Messala dead on the track, [but] in this film, things turn out differently.”

Ben Hur is traditionally an epic story that centers around two brothers seeking revenge. After Ben Hur is wrongfully accused of treason, his adopted brother, now a Roman officer, sentences Ben Hur in the galley of a Roman warship. Ben Hur wants nothing more than to simply survive and dreams of one day getting revenge for his brother’s actions against him and his family. He eventually makes his way back to his brother and must participate in a violent chariot race to settle all matters.

Kebbell shares how he prepared for his role as Messala and shared how it differed from his previous roles. “It’s a very precise part of the art, much like theater and dance,” he said. “I was allowed to figure out things on the day rather than have to practice so much beforehand, except for the chariot race. You’re growing each day, you come in prepared but you’re trying to be flexible, [but] learning to chariot race from scratch was phenomenal.”
The film does a great job showing us the close relationship of the brothers. Although they were close, deep down Massala was always jealous of his brother. Zurer who plays Naomi Ben-Hur, the mother of the prince and Roman officer, told THR why Messala was so quick to sentence his brother.

“We put ourselves in a place where we are loved, believe in ourselves, and the comparison to our brothers and sisters. If you have someone who is more loved, you will feel not deserving, and have a problem in life and I think that’s what happens with Messala. It’s the core of all drama.”

Despite all the drama and action in the film, the cast shares a unique chemistry between characters. Jarreth Merz who plays Florus, told THR that regardless of the given comparison to Wyler’s adaptation, this version will stand on its own.
“The film was so challenging, because — let’s not kid ourselves — there’s a classic out there. We had to come up with something new. We had to bring up a new chemistry, and I think we achieved that; we managed to do by just being very closely knit and supportive of one another.”

He added: “Filmmaking is magic, you never know what to expect. Once you’re on set, it’s time to make new rules, and I think we did that successfully. This movie is very honest, it’s not trying to be something it’s not.”Ben-Hur is in theaters now. Be sure to check out the auctions at www.benhurauctions.com.

 

BEN-HUR: QUINTUS COMPLETE

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Quintus Arrius (played by James Cosmo) is a central figure in the life of Judah Ben-Hur. The Roman commander, who was saved from drowning by Judah, adopts the boy and raises him as his own – ultimately leading to a jealous Messala betraying him and leaving Judah to a life of slavery. Quintus’ military uniform worn in the 2016 version of the epic Ben-Hur is now available to the fan who places the winning bid – and the costume includes Quintus’ armor harness, skirt, vest, vambraces, pants, tunic, scarf, wraps and shoes – all worn on screen by James Cosmo (who is also known by Game of Thrones fans as Jeor Mormont). Click here to see photos of this amazing costume and get in on the bidding today!

 

Ben-Hur Movie Takes Big Risk

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The Charlton Heston Ben Hur boasted the biggest budget and largest set of any production of its time. Nearly 60 years later, the MGM classic is back, both on the famous Italian soundstage used in the 1959 version, as well as, across town in an empty field behind the Cinecitta world theme park. There, Director Timur Bekmambetov has erected a full-scale version of the Circus Maximus.

Bekmambetov truly went all out to compete with the 1959 famous chariot race. Onscreen rivals Jack Huston and Toby Kebbell trained for nearly four months to drive horse-drawn chariots – smaller and faster than the bulky wagons seen in the 1959 version. They wanted the scene to look and feel as real as possible.

“Basically, when you’re going around the arena with 32 horses, the slightest mistake could lead to death,” explains Huston, who spent stretches of the race being dragged behind his chariot while other teams of horses galloped only feet away.

The inspiration for the remake came from the passing of Nelson Mandela in 2013, screenwriter Keith Clarke went searching for a story with a message of truth and reconciliation, and eventually latched onto Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. One chooses power and greed, one chooses revenge, and one chooses the path of peace and forgiveness. Only one survives.”

Embracing the film’s biblical tie-in, Daniel and MGM president Jonathan Glickman enlisted Mark Burnett and Roma Downey to serve as executive producers. The duo that recently produced the 2014 mini series Son of God, were intrigued by the message of forgiveness. And while past adaptations have avoided featuring Jesus directly, he is a main part of the story throughout this adaptation.

Indeed they are taking a big risk on the film, but they are confident they can reach the faith-based audiences. Bekmambetov looked to Scott’s 2000 multi-Oscar winning hit Gladiator as his model, hiring veteran stunt coordinator Steve Dent to marshal a team of 87 horses, while banking on the under dog story appealing to moviegoers.

According to Bekmambetov, many period movies fail because audiences fail to connect with the stories. “It was really important to find a way to make the movie feel contemporary,” says the director, who took some of his cues from NASCAR and Formula One races. “We’re living in the YouTube era of filmmaking.”

Ben Hur will be premiering August 19 and will be showing audiences a different feel from the 1959 version, which might be just what it needs to stand out.

 

Ben-Hur Movie Auctions Start August 19th

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VIP Fan Auctions, in partnership with MGM Studios, is proud to announce the Ben-Hur Movie Auction will start Friday August 19th with the movie’s theatrical release. The official studio auctions will feature screen used props and wardrobe items from film and will be available at www.benhurauctions.com. All items come directly from the studio and include a Certificate of Authenticity. Ben-Hur is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur, a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother, an officer in the Roman army. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption. The cast includes Jack Huston (Judah Ben-Hur), Toby Kebbell (Messala Severus), Rodrigo Santoro (Jesus), Nazanin Boniadi (Esther), Ayelet Zurer (Naomi Ben-Hur), Pilou Asbaek (Pontius Pilate), Sofia Black-D’Elia (Tirzah Ben-Hur), Morgan Freeman (Ilderim), Marwan Kenzari (Druses), Moises Arias (Dismas), James Cosmo (Quintus), Haluk Bilginer (Simonides), David Walmsley (Marcus Decimus), Yasen Atour (Jacob), and Francesco Scianna (Kadeem).

Official Ben-Hur Movie Trailer

Featured Ben-Hur Movie Costumes

 

VERY MANOLO

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Say what you will about the most despised of the moms in the hit comedy Bad Moms, but – man, oh, Manolo – PTA President Gwendolyn (played by Christina Applegate) is always the best dressed. And while keeping up the appearance of being the “perfect mom” may drive her to extremes, fans of the film and fashion don’t have to frame any rivals to claim the stunning brown suede Manolo Blahnik boots she wears in the film. The pair of designer boots, which originally sell for more than $550, are currently available from VIP Fan Auctions to whoever offers the winning bid. Don’t miss a chance to claim the stunning footwear worn on-screen in a hit film by one of Hollywood’s favorite actresses! Click here for photos, sizing and more information – and join the Bad Moms bidding today!

 

‘Homeland’ Adds Patrick Sabongui and Hill Harper To Cast

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Not long before beginning to film its 6th season, Homeland added two familiar faces to its already-impressive cast. Patrick Sabongui and Hill Harper with both have recurring roles in Showtime’s spy thriller series.

Sabongui will play a law professor at CUNY. EW reports that he will be an, “ardent advocate for the Muslim-American community”. You can also catch Sabongui in a regular role on The Flash as well as the all new Power Rangers movie.

Harper will be stepping in as the chief of staff for Elizabeth Keane (Elizabeth Marvel)—the current president-elect. Harper has starred in Limitless, and has had roles on Covert Affairs and CSI: NY.

The sixth season of Homeland is expected to premiere in January. Season five ended with plenty suspense, including Carrie moving back to America. Season six events will be taking place between Election Day and Keane’s inauguration.

 

HOLY TERROR

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Damien’s Sister Greta Fraueva (Robin Weigert) is a formidable woman. As an emissary of Scisco Dei, she is an exorcist and demon hunter for the church. Armed with a Dagger of Megiddo, she is not afraid to use it – as she justifies everything as part of God’s plan. VIP Fan Auctions is now offering the nun’s screen-used Dagger of Megiddo (as well as a rigged dagger with a partial blade) and the Hakim sunglasses she wore during the episode “Abattoir.” Click here for photos and more information of these Damien props – and get in on the bidding to claim a piece of one of the great horror franchises of all time.

 

SHOOT AT THE DEVIL

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As a war photographer, Damien Thorn (Bradley James) has found himself in some scary situations, including staring down the business end of an AK47 assault rifle (pictured above) in Damascus. The prop rifle, featured on-screen in the series premiere “The Beast Rises,” leading to Damien learning his dark secret, is relentlessly realistic and now available to the fan who places the winning bid at VIP Fan Auctions. The rifle is constructed of rubber but looks authentic, measures more than 33-in., and is a remarkable piece of Hollywood prop-building. Click here for more information, photos and to take a shot at owning this high-powered piece of Damien today!

 

SUPERNATURAL SLACKERS

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For three seasons on Hulu, the supernatural comedy Deadbeat probed the world of mediums as slacker Kevin “Pac” Pacalioglu (played by Tyler Labine) helped ghosts work through unresolved issues. Actress-singer-model Cat Deeley played Pac’s rival – the completely fake medium Camomile White – in one of streaming TV’s funniest and most offbeat comedies to date. VIP Fan Auctions is now offering fans of Deadbeat a chance to claim a piece of the series, including a robe (pictured above) and (stage) blood-spattered coat worn by Cat Deeley on-screen. To check out these and other Deadbeat wardrobe items – including the “DJ Deadrat” mask – click here to visit the Deadbeat auction page and get in on the bidding today!

 

THE PERFECT MOM

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Keeping up appearances as the ruler of the PTA can be exhausting, but a phenomenal wardrobe definitely helps. Christina Applegate’s PTA queen bee Gwendolyn in the hit comedy Bad Moms way be a tightly wound control freak with an evil streak, but she dresses impeccably. VIP Fan Auctions is now offering fans of the movie a chance to claim a prize piece of her wardrobe: the stylish Burberry trench coat (pictured above) that Christina Applegate wears on-screen (which originally sells for nearly $1,000). Don’t miss your chance to own a designer coat worn by one of Hollywood’s most beloved actresses in the hit comedy of the summer! Click here to get in on the bidding today!