Could Tom Hiddleston be the new Ben Hur?
MGM and Paramount are courting British actor Tom Hiddleston to play Ben-Hur in a remake of the epic 1959 movie, based on Lew Wallace's novel Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The film won 11 Academy Awards and became the second highest grossing movie in history, after Gone With The Wind.
Tom Hiddleston at the premiere of Thor: The Dark World [Getty/Gareth Cattermole]
Despite the majesty of the project, this is no done deal and Hiddleston is still considering numerous other projects including the Peter Weir movie Me Before You, according to Deadline.
We already know that Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov is helming Ben-Hur, with Sean Daniel, Joni Levin, Mark Burnett, Roma Downey and Jason Brown producing. John Ridley, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of 12 Years A Slave, wrote the last draft.
Should Hiddleston take the part, he would be the fifth actor to play Ben-Hur after Herman Rottger, Ramon Novarro, Charlton Heston and Joseph Morgan. The latter stared in the 2010 miniseries with Kristin Kreuk, Hugh Bonneville and Ray Winstone.
Set in Jerusalem at the beginning of the 1st century, Ben-Hur tells the story of the Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur who is falsely convicted of an assassination attempt on the Roman governor. After being sent to the galleys, Judah returns to seek revenge on his former childhood friend and commanding offer Messala.
Hiddleton is currently shooting Ben Wheatley's action-drama High-Rise, an adaptation of the J.G Ballard novel of the same name. Next, he'll begin work on I Saw The Light -a biopic of the legendary country singer-songwriter Hank Williams.