Ben-Hur news round-up: The premieres have begun!

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Another week, another round-up of Ben-Hur-themed news items.

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Box office: Suicide Squad sets a new record for August

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Critics may have hated it, but Suicide Squad — which revolves around a team of DC Comics supervillains — set new records at the box office this week.

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Prophet Joseph — episodes twenty-nine and thirty

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Synopsis. A servant overhears one of the priests of Amon discussing their plot to kill Joseph, and warns the Pharaoh. Joseph says he’s not worried, and says they need to focus on preparing for the famine — but he also asks Amenhotep which god he worships. Amenhotep says he worships the one true God and asks if he can call this God Aten; Joseph agrees. At a ceremony for Amon, Amenhotep reveals that he now worships Joseph’s God, and he tells the priests of Amon to carry their idol out of the palace; he also reveals that he has changed his name to Akhenaten. Joseph goes outside the palace in disguise, to visit the slums of the city; disturbed by what he sees there, he vows to erase the barriers between rich and poor. When Joseph returns to the palace, Ninifer Keptah tries to attack him, but Joseph is saved by Nemisabu and Malek, the latter of whom kills Ninifer Keptah at the end of a short swordfight.

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A few new details surface about that Mary Magdalene movie

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Various Australian news outlets are reporting that local producer Liz Watts has joined the team behind Mary Magdalene, an upcoming film that currently has Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara attached to play Jesus and the Magdalene, respectively.

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Watch: Pilate addresses the crowd in a new Ben-Hur clip

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Last week, the studio behind the upcoming remake of Ben-Hur released five clips from the film, all of which touched on the movie’s religious themes. Today we get our first “mainstream” clip from the film, in which Judah Ben-Hur and his nemesis Messala have one last exchange before the iconic chariot race begins — but you can still get a hint of the movie’s themes thanks to a speech by one Pontius Pilate.

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Mel Gibson reportedly cuts profanity from his World War II movie Hacksaw Ridge to make it more Christian-friendly

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I’ve been saying for a while that Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, which tells the true story of a Seventh-Day Adventist who refused to carry a weapon yet nevertheless saved dozens of lives during the Battle of Okinawa, could be the “Christian World War II movie” that many people hoped Unbroken would be a couple years ago.

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