A new film in theaters retells the epic story of Ben-Hur, a fictional story set during the historical events of the New Testament. Producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey promise this one will stick close to the Christian themes of the original novel.

This August, a fresh theatrical adaptation of beloved Christian novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ comes to theaters. Published in 1880, the novel has been adapted numerous times—including productions for the stage, film, radio, and television.

The most famous adaptation to date is the 1959 film Ben-Hur, which starred Charlton Heston. The production, unlike anything of its time, was a box office success and went on to win a record 11 Academy Awards, a record that held until 2007’s Titanic.

The 2016 Ben-Hur re-imagines and re-adapts the tale. The film is directed by Timur Bekmambetov and stars Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell, Nazanin Boniadi and Rodrigo Santoro.

The new film does have some variances from the 1959 film. Although Jesus plays a significant role in the novel, the 1959 version only showed Jesus in shadow—the face of the actor was never visible. In the 2016 version of Ben-Hur, Jesus plays a more prominent role. The actor portraying Jesus, Rodrigo Santoro, received a blessing from Pope Francis to play the part.

Two of the film’s producers are Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. They were the power couple behind 2013’s History Channel blockbuster series The Bible, which was watched by more than 13 million viewers. They followed up that success with the theatrical release Son of God and the TV series A.D.

Considering the respect they brought to those biblical dramas, the couple’s role in the new Ben-Hur brings with it the promise that the film will adhere closely to the Christian worldview of the original novel. The story follows a falsely accused nobleman who survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his best friend who betrayed him. But a chance encounter Jesus sets Judah on a different path.

“It’s a great story, and it needs to be told again,” Downey told Movieguide. “And, if you thought the [original] chariot race was amazing, wait until you see [the new one]. It’s going to knock your socks off.”

“What an honor it will be to help bring this epic film back to the big screen,” said Burnett. “General Lew Wallace’s Ben-Hur is one of the most important Christian works of fiction ever written.”

Are you excited to see the new Ben-Hur? Watch the official movie trailer right HERE!

Did you know?

The first screen adaptation of Ben-Hur was a 15-minute-long silent film in 1907. Made without the permission of the author’s estate, the filmmakers were taken to court—which led to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that film companies must secure the rights of a published work still under copyright.

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