If you totally forgot that Paramount is dropping a big-budget remake of Ben-Hur, you’re not alone. And maybe it should have stayed forgotten, because the studio just dropped our first trailer for the wannabe biblical epic, and it’s…not great.
Ben-Hur 2016 is full of swords, sandals, CGI, and Jack Huston looking a lot like Jesus, at least until he gets a haircut. This is so overwrought that it’s almost comical, almost—my hope is that it is so ridiculous and over-the-top that it winds up a lot of fun, but that remains to be seen. I’m just going to say this right now, Jack Huston is no Charlton Heston. And what's up with Morgan Freeman's dreads?
Here’s a synopsis, if you care, though the trailer tells you everything you need to know:
BEN-HUR is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption. Based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. Also starring Morgan Freeman and Rodrigo Santoro.
Directed by Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’s Timur Bekmambetov, Ben-Hur opens August 12, making it the last big-budget hopeful of the summer, always a dubious position.