What’s more unlikely than a gritty, edgy remake of Ben-Hur (of all things)? It might be the moment in the new trailer when Toby Kebbell, in the role of the titular hero’s nemesis, shouts, “Are we having fun yet, brother?!” It’s a line that belongs in an episode of Party Down (RIP), and one that seems hilariously out of place in a movie that features chariots.

At least it doesn’t look like another period epic trying to emulate 300. At least there’s that. In the new film from Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted), Jack Huston plays the eponymous protagonist Judah Ben-Hur, who is forced into slavery when he’s betrayed by his childhood BFF and adoptive brother, Messala (Kebbell). Years later, Judah returns to seek his revenge in a chariot race — oh, and he has some encounters with Jesus of Nazareth along the way.

Ben-Hur is based on the classic Lew Wallace novel, which was famously adapted for the Oscar-winning 1959 film starring Charlton Heston. Here’s the official synopsis for Bekmambetov’s take, which is based on a script by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) and Keith Clarke:

Ben-Hur is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption. Based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.

Ben-Hur also stars Morgan Freeman, Rodrigo Santoro, Ayelet Zurer and Sofia Black-D’elia, and hits theaters on August 19.

More From 100.7 KOOL FM