Just a few quick notes about some Ben-Hur things that popped up last week.
As is often the case with big-budget Bible movies, there are two marketing campaigns, running in parallel, for the upcoming remake of Ben-Hur.
Rats. Deadline reports that Of Kings and Prophets — the Saul-and-David-and-Samuel series, which I was really starting to enjoy — has been cancelled after just two episodes. The ABC network had sent copies of the first three episodes to TV critics (including myself), and had even teased that next week’s episode would feature David’s confrontation with Goliath. But now that episode will never air; instead, its timeslot will be taken over by the “reality TV” series Beyond the Tank.
The new version of Ben-Hur has always seemed like a bit of an odd beast. On the one hand, it is directed by Timur Bekmambetov, an action-movie stylist and horror-film producer best-known for Wanted and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. On the other hand, it counts “faith-based” power couple Mark Burnett and Roma Downey — creators of The Bible and A.D. The Bible Continues — among its producers.
Are live musical versions of popular Bible stories the next big thing?
I haven’t got the time or energy right now to write a proper review of the new Star Wars movie, but I’ll try to say something about it soon-ish. In the meantime, here are a few new trailers and interviews re: other films that I’ve been keeping tabs on.