Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer (Man of Steel) is in talks with MGM and Paramount to play the title character’s mother in the upcoming biblical epic Ben-Hur, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film, both a remake of the 1959 Oscar winning Charlton Heston classic and an adaptation of a classic 1880’s novel by Lew Wallace is eyeing a 2016 release.Zurer, best known stateside for her work in Man of Steel and Angels and Demons, is an award-winning actress in her native Israel. She came to attention in Hollywood when she was cast in her first English-language role, Steven Spielberg’s 2005 drama Munich.
Boardwalk Empire’s Jack Huston stars as Judah Ben-Hur, a nobleman betrayed into slavery by his best friend Messala, played by Toby Kebbell, (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes). Morgan Freeman joins the action as the man who tutors Ben-Hur in chariot racing.
The script was adapted in part from Wallace’s 1880 Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. Oscar winner John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) penned the screenplay based on Keith Clarke’s spec script.
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are signed on as producer and executive producer, respectively, with Timur Bekmambetov attached to direct.