HOLLYWOOD - Producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey have joined MGM and Paramount to remake the classic Oscar-winning film Ben-Hur.
The studio made the announcement Friday morning in Hollywood, Calif.
Burnett is famous for producing hit shows like The Voice and Survivor. While his wife, Roma, starred in the well-known show Touched by an Angel. But it wasn't until they turned their sights to religion, where both their minds collaborated to create the epic miniseries The Bible. They also did the biblical film Son of God.
Timur Bekmambetov is signed on as the director. He’s known for the not-so great movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and the 2008 action flick Wanted.
The idea of a Ben-Hur remake raises a lot of eyebrows for anyone who knows or loves film.
The original 1959 picture starring Charlton Heston is one of the most well-received films of all time. It remains tied for the most Oscar wins by any film in history. Ben-Hur scored a remarkable 11 Academy Awards.
There are two red flags with this 2016 remake:
1) Mark Burnett and Roma Downey
These two may be very well at their job in the television business, but a blockbuster film is a completely different realm to tackle. Remember that Son of God movie that they did together? It only made a mere $59 million at the U.S. box office. This is what some movies make in a single weekend.
Son of God was also not very well received by audiences and critics. Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post wrote, “Don’t expect to see a great film, or even a very good one.” You know what Son of God earned on Rotten Tomatoes? An embarrassing 22 percent rating. Not good. I worry about what these two “TV producers” can do with this big screen product to keep it from flopping.
2) Remaking a classic
Why in the world would you remake a classic film that won 11 Oscars? It makes no sense at all. Let’s go ahead and remake Titanic and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, the other 11-time Academy Award winners. It’s like the classic saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It appears to me that Burnett and Downey are trying to ruin all things good in the film industry.
Maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe these two boneheads, along with the executives at MGM and Paramount, are trying to “honor the classic film” by doing a remake. But if this is the case, why give Ben-Hur 2016 to the director who’s most recent work is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It’s sad, it’s cheap and it’s downright annoying.
Ben-Hur is a classic among classics. By no means should it be remade by anyone… especially by an actress and reality show producer.
This new "classic" Ben-Hur is set to release February 26, 2016. I hope you don’t give in to this joke of a movie.