'Ben-Hur' tackles vengeance vs. forgiveness — a theme many viewers could relate to, says producer


The new remake of the classical film "Ben-Hur" is guaranteed to tug on the heartstrings of audiences as lead character Judah Ben-Hur (played by Jack Huston) encounters many betrayals and hardships in his life and yet manages to show love instead of hate because of Jesus Christ.

The movie is executive produced by Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, Keith Clarke, John Ridley and Jason F. Brown; produced by Sean Daniel; and directed by Timur Bekmambetov.

Daniel tells The Christian Post that many viewers will be able to relate to the emotional theme of the film—vengeance versus forgiveness—because it is timeless. "The conflicts the characters experience are as relatable today as they were in Roman times or 1880, when Lew Wallace wrote the novel," he explains. "It's human nature, and that doesn't change."

Meanwhile, Bekmambetov says Ben-Hur's life story will teach people a lot of valuable lessons. Ben-Hur might have belonged to a different place and age, but many of the injustices he faced still happen to people to this very day.

"Even though the setting and the circumstances are thousands of years ago, the characters' emotions and actions are relatable and have a modern, universal resonance," he says. "We still live with its values. Power, greed and success rule the world, people try to achieve everything in harsh competition, and only few realise that true human values are collaboration and forgiveness."

Bekmambetov also raved about the 1959 "Ben-Hur" film, calling it a "phenomenon that greatly affected the culture of the 20th century."

Because of his high opinion of the film, he was initially hesitant to direct the remake. The filmmaker only changed his mind once he read the script, because it was "this incredibly meaningful story" that deserved to be shared with the world.

"Ben-Hur" will first be released internationally on Aug. 12, followed by an Aug. 19 release in the U.S.