The epic flick “Ben-Hur,” which first aired back in 1958 and won the Best Picture Academy Award (not to mention 10 other Oscars that year), is being remade into a two-part miniseries. “BEN HUR” will be shown on CBC Easter Sunday and the following Sunday, and features several big-name actors renowned for their roles in other historical drama/action films as well as their television work.
Lifelong friends who are fighting for two different sides (and later become enemies), Judah Ben Hur will be played by Joseph Morgan, who has appeared in “Alexander” and “Master and Commander,” while Octavius Messala will be portrayed by Stephen Campbell Moore of “Amazing Grace” and “The History Boys” fame. Other members of the cast (some with impressive TV backgrounds) include Kristin Kreuk (“Smallville”), Emily VanCamp (“Brothers & Sisters”), James Faulkner (“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”), Hugh Bonneville (“Notting Hill”), and Alex Kingston (“ER”).
According to The Canadian Press, producers are promising that this updated version of “Ben-Hur” will “offer a new dimension” to the story.
Interestingly, there is a very strong tie between the original film and this updated miniseries: David Tyler, one of the executive producers of the remake, is the son of William Wyler, who directed the original 1959 classic (and not only won the Oscar for Best Director but is also the most nominated director in Academy Award history with a total of 12 nods).
The four-hour miniseries was filmed in Ouarzazate, Morocco, and airs in Canada as well as the U.S. (NBC), Spain (Antenna 3), and Germany (ProSieben). Look for it on the CBC Easter Sunday starting at 8pm.