MGM had previously announced their intention to remake Ben-Hur, the classic Charlton Heston chariot race epic, but nothing about the project inspired confidence. They’ve put Timur Bekmambetov, director of such fine films as Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, in charge and they’ve already dated it for a February 2016 release. You all know how I feel about February—it’s only slightly less putrid than its fellow graveyard, January. So with the low-rent Zack Snyder directing and a February burial to look forward to, why should I be excited about a Ben-Hur remake?
Because it might star Tom Hiddleston! Let’s be honest—that’s all a lot of us need to know. But it actually does make some sense. Hiddles has proven he’s good at combining classical dramatics and action, which is pretty much Ben-Hur in a nutshell. It’s about betrayal, revenge, oath-swearing and blood feuds, and it culminates in a chariot race, which is like the BC version of a dance-off. The first thing I thought of when trying to picture Saint Tom the Huge Dork as a Roman-era warrior-prince was this clip from his Thor audition:
I can see it, can’t you? It makes at least as much sense as Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods & Guyliner.