Cannes Film Festival
Snapshots of Indian presence at the 66th Cannes Film Festival. Take a look at Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Vidya Balan and others at the famed red carpet. Slideshow
"Ben-Hur" set for television mini-series remake
LOS ANGELES |
LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - Actor Charlton Heston is gone, but "Ben-Hur" will ride again -- this time as a remake produced as a television mini-series.
Daily Variety reported on Wednesday that the new TV version is being produced at a cost of $30 million by David Wyler, whose father, the late William Wyler, directed the 1959 big-screen biblical epic.
The movie classic, famed for its chariot-racing scene, won a record-setting 11 Academy Awards, including Oscars for best picture and best director.
Heston, who died Saturday at age 84, won the best actor Oscar for his title role as Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish noble who is sent into Roman slavery and later regains his freedom to become a great charioteer.
"We've got a joke that this is the family business," David Wyler told Variety in announcing the project at the Mip TV industry conference in Cannes, France. "In my mind this is dedicated to my dad and Chuck (Heston). We think it's a great way to keep his memory alive."
The mini-series is being produced with the Alchemy Television Group, which already has sold distribution rights to Spain, Germany and Canada, and Wyler is in talks with two broadcast networks and a cable channel for the U.S. rights, Variety reported. Production is set to begin later this year.
Variety said the latest remake will be based more specifically on the Lew Wallace source novel than either the 1959 film version or an earlier 1925 screen adaptation, though Wyler is looking to cast the lead role younger, into his mid-20s. Heston was in his mid-30s when he made "Ben-Hur."
"It's been 50 years since my father's version, and we think we can bring something new and contemporary to it in the same way that 'Gladiator' did for that genre," Wyler said.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Eric Walsh)
(Please visit our entertainment blog via www.reuters.com or on blogs.reuters.com/fanfare/)
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