Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Casting Net: Jack Huston to star as title role in 'Ben-Hur' remake

Posted on

Jack Huston
John Lamparski/WireImage

• Boardwalk Empire actor Jack Huston will take the chariot reins as the title role in the upcoming remake of Ben-Hur. Previously, Tom Hiddleston had been in talks for the role of slave Judah Ben-Hur in the Paramount and MGM picture. Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) is directing the film adapted by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) and Keith Clarke (The Way Back) that is said to be based more on Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ than the 1959 film that starred Charlton Heston. Morgan Freeman has already been cast as Ildarin, the teacher who helps make the slave Ben-Hur into chariot racer champion. The movie is set to be released February 26, 2016. [Deadline]

• Katey Sagal will play the mother of fighter Vinny Pazienza in Bleed For This. The Sons of Anarchy star joins the previously announced Miles Teller as the former world champ nicknamed the Pazmanian Devil. Writer/director Ben Younger (Prime) will oversee a cast that also includes Aaron Eckhart, Amanda Clayton (John Carter), Ciaran Hinds (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby) and Tom DeNucci (Loosies) while filming begins in Rhode Island next month. [Deadline]

• Shortly before the release of A Walk Among the TombstonesLiam Neeson has already been approached to star in another thriller novel adaptation for film. Universal has begun working on Tell No One by bestselling novelist Harlan Coben with the hopes that Neeson would star. Chris Terrio (Argo) has written the script from the source material that was already made into a French film in 2006. [Deadline]

• House of Cards‘ Kate Mara has reportedly been offered a role in Ridley Scott’s The Martian. Adapted from the book by Andy Weir, the film will star Matt Damon as an astronaut stranded on Mars. Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods) has written the script that has had Jessica Chastain and Kristen Wiig in talks for lead roles as well with a Nov. 25, 2015 release. [Deadline]

• John Leguizamo, Nick Sandow (Orange is the New Black) and Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie) have joined the ensemble cast of Meadowland. Cinematographer Reed Morano (The Skeleton Twins) is making her directorial debut in the drama written by Chris Rossi. Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson star as a couple dealing with the disappearance of their son in drastically different ways with Elisabeth Moss, Giovanni Ribisi, Ty Simpkins (Insidious), Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi), Mark Feuerstein (Royal Pains), Kevin Corrigan (The Departed) and Juno Temple also appearing as various New Yorkers they come in contact with. Orange is the New Black Emmy nominee Natasha Lyonne was previously attached to the film but has since dropped out due to a schedule conflict. [Screen Daily]

• Tony Award winner Audra McDonald is in talks to star in a film version of the musical Hello Again. Based on the play La Ronde by Arthur Schnitzler, the off-Broadway tuner from Michael John LaChiusa follows the sexual trysts of 10 characters in 10 different scenes across several generations. Tom Gustafson will direct the film that partner Cory Krueckeberg has adapted. No word on which character McDonald would play after winning a record-breaking sixth Tony as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at the Emerson Grill. [ShowBiz 411]

• Kevin Pollak (Mom) and Joey King (Wish I Was Here) are heading up north for the indie Canadian road trip movie BorealisJonas Chernick (Degrassi) stars in his own screenplay as an unemployed gambler on the run with his stoner teenage daughter (King) from a volatile bookie (Pollack) chasing after them. Sean Garrity is directing the film that also features Jake Epstein (Degrassi), Greg Bryk (A History of Violence) and Cle Bennett (Rookie Blue). [THR]

• John Carroll Lynch, who will soon appear as the villainous clown on the upcoming season of American Horror Story: Freak Show, has been cast as Jerry Sandusky in Happy Valley. Director Brian De Palma is set to reunite with his Scarface star Al Pacino as the late Joe Paterno in the film about the Penn State coach’s legacy and the abuse scandal that ultimately lead to his firing shortly before his death from cancer. The script written by Dave McKenna (American History X) is based on Joe Posnanski’s bestselling book Paterno. [The Wrap]

• Katherine Waterston (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby) will star opposite Elisabeth Moss in the psychological thriller Queen of Earth. Waterson replaces Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery who withdrew when scheduling didn’t work out. The film from Listen Up Phillip director Alex Ross Perry follows two best friends trying to reconnect with each other on a beach vacation. [THR]

• Joey Kern (Workaholics)Luke Edwards (The Wizard)Bree Williamson (True Detective) and Brad Greenquist (Water for Elephants) have signed on for the meta horror film The Beginners Guide to Snuff from directing duo The Butcher Brothers (The Violent Kind), aka Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores. Kern and Edwards star as two actor brothers trying to make it in Hollywood who decide to actually kidnap an actress (Williamson) while making a pretend snuff film in order to make it as terrifying as possible. They soon realize they picked the wrong girl. Greenquist will play the dark head of security at a theme park in the movie written by Cory Knauf, Adam Weis and Altieri. [THR]

PREVIOUSLY: Matt Smith joins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies