Assuming Hiddleston signs on as the lead, the next line of business would be casting the role of Messala, Ben-Hur’s closest friend, who betrays him to a life of slavery while sentencing his mother and sister to prison. Ben-Hur spends years on a Roman warship all the while plotting his retribution.
The script was adapted by Keith Clarke (The Way Back) with the most recent draft being penned by Oscar-winning writer John Ridley (12 Years a Slave). The film is rumored to stick more closely to Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, than did the record-setting 1959 film. The story takes place during the life of Jesus Christ, which is contrasted with the hostility between Ben-Hur and Messala.
While some might be skeptical of the Ben-Hur story being handled by the director of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the involvement of Hiddleston and Ridley do inspire some confidence that the film might display a bit of the heart and substance that was evident in the 1959 epic.