One of the biggest flops of recent years was Paramount Pictures’ remake of Ben-Hur, which was released (or should that be dumped) in August of last year to a chorus of bad reviews and poor box office. Indeed while the film grossed $94million worldwide, its poor showing in the US (just $26million) meant that the studio were reportedly set to lose $120million on it after all was said and done.
The film’s lead, Jack Huston, has been reflecting on the project to Business Insider this week at the Sundance Film Festival (where he is promoting his new film The Yellow Birds) and admits that the reaction and ultimate failure of the film hit him hard, especially as he thought director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) and co were creating something unique, saying:
“When I went into the movie I had a very candid conversation with everyone and I said, ‘We’re going to get nailed.’ We did something very different in that Judah was never a hero. I wanted the audience to almost be guessing who was going to win the chariot race.
“What I found so interesting was we could recreate this amazing character. You hire a filmmaker, go with the filmmaker’s vision. The movie kind of breaks my heart because I know what we did and it’s very hard when there’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen.”
“I learned so much from ‘Ben-Hur,’ the whole process was invaluable. And I stand by my performance in it because it was a real choice. I know there was a much better film there that we created, it just got lost.”
Co-starring Toby Kebbell (A Monster Calls), Rodrigo Santoro (Focus), Ayelet Zurer (Man of Steel), Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland) and Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight Rises), Ben-Hur is available on Blu-ray and DVD now.