The next big biblical movie coming our way is “Ben-Hur” from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Paramount Pictures. The film has announced that they have begun principal photography on the film in Rome and Matera, Italy. Jack Huston stars as Judah Ben-Hur and Morgan Freeman as Ilderim. The film also features Toby Kebbell as Messala, Nazanin Boniadi as Esther, Rodrigo Santoro as Jesus Christ, Sofia Black D’Elia as Tirzah, Ayelet Zurer as Naomi, Moises Arias as Gestas and Pilou Asbæk as Pontius Pilate.

The film is directed by Timur Bekmambetov and is written by John Ridley and Keith Clarke. The film is based on the novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of The Christ” by Lew Wallace. Two of the producers of the film are notable for their work on Bible-related entertainment, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, who is serving as an executive producer alongside Ridley, Clarke and Jason Brown. Other producers include Sean Daniel and Joni Levin.

The main focus of “Ben-Hur” is faith and tells the story of “a falsely accused nobleman who survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his best friend who betrayed him. Both must come to choose between retribution or forgiveness.”

“You could not have imagined a more perfect location to shoot this epic than Italy. We can’t wait to get started,” said Bekmambetov.

“Ben-Hur will be in theaters Feb. 26, 2016.

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By Monique Jones

Monique Jones blogs about race and culture in entertainment, particularly movies and television. You can read her articles at Racialicious, and her new site, COLOR . You can also listen to her new podcast, What would Monique Say.

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