New Takes on Old Stories
It has long been a trend in Hollywood to repeat old stories, either by remaking famous films or simply retelling stories that were old before the medium even existed. Which is why right now, we have news about Ben-Hur and Ali Baba movies that are currently in the works.
There have already been three Ben-Hur films, with the 1959 version being the most famous; a fourth is scheduled for 2016. The protagonist, Judah Ben-Hur, will be played by Jack Huston, while Toby Kebbell will play the antagonist, Messala. There are currently talks for Ben-Hur’s mother to be played by Israeli-American actress Ayelet Zurer, and for his sister to be played by Olivia Cooke of Bates Motel.
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves will be a modern, Westernized adaptation with an adventure-comedy tone not unlike Pirates of the Caribbean. The role of the protagonist, “Allen” instead of Ali, has been shortlisted to Liam Hemsworth, Dan Stevens, and Evan Peters. Meanwhile, Hollywood photographer Terry Richardson tweeted that the director has already been chosen: Shawn Levy, fresh off of his gig on Night in the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. For what it’s worth, Stevens was also in that film.
Will these attempts to reboot and retool old stories meet with as much success, or will audiences prefer the older versions better? We’ll just have to wait until they come out to see.