Ben-Hur makers have 'learned from mistakes' of Noah
The Bible producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey have signed on to the remake of cinema epic Ben-Hur, a move one Christian media group thinks will ensure the film resonates more with Christians than Noah did.
Faith Driven Consumer has applauded Paramount's decision to sign the Christian husband and wife team behind the hugely successful Bible TV miniseries.
The media group was critical of the studio's handling of Noah and director Darren Aronofsky's interpretation of the Old Testament story for the big screen.
In its review earlier this month, the group said the film deviated "far enough from the Biblical message and narrative as to render the original story largely unrecognisable" and had "clearly failed" to garner the broad support of faith driven consumers.
"Paramount is free to make whatever kind of film it wants to make, but the company's leadership would be well-advised to consider the tens of millions of dollars they have already left and the hundreds of millions they will potentially be leaving on the table," it said at the time of the film's release.
By contrast, Faith Driven Consumer founder Chris Stone is optimistic about the prospects for Ben-Hur with Burnett and Downey on the production team.
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"If faith driven consumers were a core target for Noah, Darren Aronofsky was the wrong choice. Having left untold millions on the table with that film, Paramount appears to have learned from its mistakes and to be taking a completely new approach with the upcoming remake of Ben Hur by signing producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey," he said.
"Burnett and Downey, who produced the well-received Bible miniseries and the successful Son of God movie, have a strong track record of success in understanding, respecting, and reaching Faith Driven Consumers. If Ben Hur is managed like their previous projects — which are the model of how to do this right — it could be the next Passion of the Christ, which set the standard for Biblical box office performance.
"We applaud Paramount for this decision, a strong step toward big success at the box office and beyond with faith driven consumers."
Ben-Hur is set to release to theatres in February 2016, and MGM and Paramount have promised it will get "to the heart of Lew Wallace's epic novel focusing on the nature of faith".