The upcoming release of “Ben-Hur” (August 19, 2016) will continue the streak of big-budget faith-based films that have come out of Hollywood recently. This remake of the 1959 classic that starred Charlton Heston will approach the story from a fresh angle while still honoring its Oscar-winning predecessor.
Fox News writer Cal Thomas reported, “This remake has the golden touch of the husband-wife team of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey (producers of the highly rated “The Bible” series for the History Channel). The story is approached from a different angle without disrespecting the original. It also seeks to reach a younger generation that may be unfamiliar with the previous versions.
“… I asked Roma Downey why she and Mark took on such a project. She replied in an email that while the central theme is about reconciliation and forgiveness, ‘It’s not specifically a faith movie … it’s an action adventure drama, but it holds in its heart a story of hope. This is the balm our hurting world needs. This is why a Ben-Hur release for 2016 makes sense. We need this message in our country and in our world right now.’”
Burnett and Downey hope to attract a broader audience with this action adventure story, while still celebrating themes of reconciliation and forgiveness. In an interview with Breitbart News, Mark Burnett said, “From a Christian audience perspective, it’s very important to make content that would stand on its own, whether it was Christian-focused or not.”
Burnett continued. “It needs to stand alone and be high quality to attract a wide audience. And if it happens to also have a message of forgiveness and love and redemption and the story of Jesus woven in, that’s actually the right approach. Because you can’t be expecting young, secular Americans to be attracted to watch a movie that doesn’t have the right trailer and the feeling that it’s a big, exciting summer action movie. Because remember what you’re up against, look at the slate of the summer. People have only got so much money to go to so many movies. And so you’ve got to offer something pretty epic.”
Hopefully, its $100 million dollar budget will pay off when the movie hits theaters next week.