Meet Ben-Hur – not the burly, biceped Charlton Heston, as rendered iconic in the 1959 classic film, but a different, decidedly more rugged version as played by Jack Huston in Timur Bekmambetov’s upcoming reboot.
In a brand-new trailer released Monday, audiences are introduced to Judah Ben-Hur, the Jewish prince who’s hell-bent on seeking revenge on his adopted brother, Roman soldier Messala (Toby Kebbel). “My family was betrayed,” the character reveals in the trailer. “I won’t let him go unpunished.”
Cue a sneak peek at what’s considered the most iconic part of the original film – the high-stakes chariot race. “Nothing could hav prepared me for witnesses those chariots for the first time in the arena,” Huston told EW of the four-horse vehicles. “It’s like NASCAR.”
Taking on the epic role was equally as surreal. “I always found Charlton Heston, in the most wonderful way, a man’s man,” Huston added. “He’s a solid human being, whereas my interpretation was when you find Judah, he’s rather lost and he’s more of a child or boy whose station gives him the sort of freedom not to process or react to all of the atrocities which have happened to him. He’s sort of blissfully unaware of what it takes to keep the peace. But underneath that, he knows he has an opportunity to possibly do something …I think I wanted to see this progression of a man turning into a man, and seeing how circumstances and certain things that happen in our life changes us.”
Watch the trailer for the film — co-written by John Ridley and Keith Clarke, the historical epic stars Morgan Freeman, Nazanin Boniadi, Rodrigo Santoro, and Sofia Black D’Elia — above.
Ben Hur rolls into theaters on Aug. 19.