Bekmambetov is known best in the United States for his films “Wanted” and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” and in Russia he’s well loved for his supernatural movies “Night Watch” and “Day Watch.” All four films are adaptations, so clearly Bekmambetov knows a thing or two about taking a project from the page to the big screen.
Still, Bekmambetov seems like a strange choice to bring to life one of the most famous stories ever. The last adaptation of “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ,” which starred Charlton Heston, is now considered a classic, and Bekmambetov’s take will likely be significantly different from that. But maybe that’s exactly what MGM wants: a new, visually affective version of “Ben-Hur” that people won’t continually compare to the Heston movie.
MGM hasn’t officially landed Bekmambetov as director, so this isn’t set in stone yet. No word on when this “Ben-Hur” film, which was penned by Keith Clarke, will hit the big screen.