There hasn’t been much news on the Ben-Hur front since last Monday’s update.
However, The Latin Times reports that Paramount has released a new poster for the film in Spanish, to appeal to the Hispanic market.
They also note that the film has “a major Latin star” playing Jesus, though technically Rodrigo Santoro is from Brazil and thus his native language would be Portuguese.
The Latin Times also claims that Santoro “received the blessing from Pope Francis to take on this role with the responsibility it requires,” though Santoro did not actually meet the Pope until after he had started playing the role — and it seems Santoro was just one of the many the Pope blessed during his regular weekly audience.
At any rate, there is a lot of precedent for pitching Bible films to the Latino audience.
Ben-Hur producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey have cast actors of Portuguese and/or Latin American descent as Jesus in their earlier films and TV shows. Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado played Jesus in The Bible, and Argentinian actor Juan Pablo di Pace played him in last year’s A.D. The Bible Continues.
So, expect to see a lot more Latino-aimed promotion where this poster came from.