From a media release:
BEN HUR FOR THE 21ST CENTURY – NEW MINISERIES PREMIERES ON CBC-TV, APRIL 4 AND 11
- All-Star International Cast Headlines Remake of Classic
BEN HUR is a gut-wrenching, action-packed drama about the struggle between the Roman Empire and its rebellious conquest Judaea, and two best friends caught in a terrible moment in history. This brand new, Canadian co-produced, two-part miniseries premieres on CBC Television on Easter Sunday, April 4 at 8 p.m. and concludes on Sunday, April 11 at 8 p.m.
Joseph Morgan (Alexander, Master and Commander) stars as Judah Ben Hur and Stephen Campbell Moore (Amazing Grace, The History Boys) is Octavius Messala, life-long friends on the opposite sides of a war for Judaea’s national identity that tests their characters to the maximum.
The stellar international cast also includes Emily VanCamp (Brothers & Sisters, Everwood) as Esther, Hugh Bonneville (Notting Hill, Mansfield Park) as Pontius Pilate,
Ray Winstone (Beowulf, The Departed) as Quintus Arrius, James Faulkner (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Good Shepherd) as Marcellus Agrippa, Alex Kingston (ER, Law & Order: SUV) as Ruth, Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) as Tirzah, Lucia Jimenez (Butterflies and Lightning) as Athene, Ben Cross (Star Trek, Chariots of Fire) as Emperor Tiberius and Kris Holden-Reid (The Tudors, Waking Up Wally: The Walter Gretzky Story) as Gaius.
BEN HUR is a universal, timeless story of a man wrongfully condemned, who becomes an outsider fighting for his identity and survival, gaining revenge and finding his true self again. While the story mirrors the famous 1959 eleven-time Academy Award-winning jewel, starring Charlton Heston, this BEN HUR offers a new dimension, recreating the classical world and its gritty spectacle and psychodrama. Filmed in Morocco this time, instead of a back lot, the production takes viewers to 1st century Jerusalem, a seething, restless melting pot at the end of the Silk Road and the edge of the Roman Empire.
BEN HUR is written by Alan Sharp and directed by Steve Shill. One of the executive producers is David Wyler, son of William WylerÃ¢â‚¬â€the director of the original 1959 classic. The other executive producers are Michael Prupas, Manuel Corby, Frank Konigsberg, Dirk Beinhold and Steve Shill. BEN HUR is a Muse Entertainment (Canada)/Drimtim Entertainment (Spain) production in association with Zak Productions (Morocco), Akkord Film (Germany) and FishCorbFilms. The other networks that have supported this event miniseries in addition to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation are Antena 3 Films (Spain), ProSieben Television GmbH (Germany) and Sony Pictures Television Inc.