Ben-Hur footage has been revealed — but not online

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Now that A.D. The Bible Continues has come to an end, it’s time for Mark Burnett and Roma Downey to promote their next Jesus-movie project. And so it came to pass yesterday that they, along with Paramount chief Rob Moore, brought some clips from their upcoming adaptation of Ben-Hur to Variety magazine’s ‘Purpose Summit’, a gathering of movie types discussing so-called “faith-based” entertainment.

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The Bible-movie actor who appeared in a Mad Max movie

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I watched all three of the original Mad Max movies this week, to get ready for Fury Road. I had never seen the original film before, and I hadn’t seen The Road Warrior or Beyond Thunderdome since the 1980s (and I saw The Road Warrior on television, so it was probably a somewhat censored version that I saw back then).

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Casting news: The Shack! Miracles from Heaven! Ben-Hur!

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Here are a few recent bits of casting news with a “faith-based” angle.

1. Sam Worthington has been cast as the lead in The Shack, Stuart Hazeldine’s adaptation of the William P. Young novel. Worthington will play a grieving father who meets God in the shack where the father’s murdered daughter was found. Octavia Spencer is already on board as one of the actors who will play God.

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Pope Francis blesses the actor who is playing Jesus in Ben-Hur

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Remember how Russell Crowe and Darren Aronofsky tried to get a blessing from Pope Francis during the run-up to the release of Noah last year? And how there was some confusion as to whether or not they did, in fact, get to meet the Pope in the end?

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Timur Bekmambetov says the chariot race in his version of Ben-Hur will be inspired by YouTube videos

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Timur Bekmambetov is currently out there promoting the horror movie Unfriended, which he produced, and along the way he has been fielding questions about the remake of Ben-Hur, which he is currently shooting in Rome. And, just as Unfriended was inspired by Skype, Bekmambetov has revealed that his own version of Lew Wallace’s “tale of the Christ” will be influenced by social media too.

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Ben-Hur begins its four-month shoot at Cinecitta Studios

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Timur Bekmambetov’s remake of Ben-Hur has apparently finished shooting exteriors in southern Italy and has now moved on to the next phase of its production: a four-month shoot at Cinecitta Studios in Rome. This is the same studio where the famous 1959 version of the story starring Charlton Heston was shot.

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