Pedro Pascal and Gal Gadot to Join ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

By October 16, 2014

Remakes seem to be all the rage in Hollywood today, and what will likely be one of the bigger remake projects at MGM seems to have found two major new cast members that are both seeing their stars rise.

According to Deadline, actor Pedro Pascal is in negotiations to portray Pontius Pilate, the infamous Roman prefect of Judaea that, according to the canonical gospels, tried to spare Jesus of Nazareth from crucifixion. When a crowd of onlookers would not relent and demanded the blood of the carpenter, he symbolically washed his hands in front of the onlookers and reluctantly sent Jesus to die. Pascal is in good standing as a star after his acclaimed portrayal of Oberyn Martell in the fourth season of the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones,” adapted from the book series A Song of Ice and Fire. Pascal will next be seen in “Narcos,” an upcoming crime drama that will premiere exclusively on Netflix next year, as well as the upcoming film Bloodsucking Bastards.

In another report, this one from The Hollywood Reporter, it’s detailed that actress Gal Gadot is in “early negotiations” to appear as the female lead in the same remake. Gadot, whose most high profile role to date has been as Gisele Yashar in the fifth and sixth Fast and Furious films, recently made big news with her casting as Princess Diana/Wonder Woman in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The landing of that role will also see her star in two Justice League films, in addition to a solo Wonder Woman film. Her ascension to the lead of a new Ben-Hur film could end up being a very positive career move, as some actors and actresses cast as iconic superheroes in the past have fallen victim to typecasting in future roles. Gadot’s decision to jump into roles like this may help to dampen that effect, though recent major superheroes (like Christian Bale, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, and Chris Evans) have been able to avoid the typecasting that afflicted actors like George Reeves or Christopher Reeve.

The Ben-Hur remake is detailed to take more after the novel by Lew Wallace released in 1880 than the 1959 film starring Charlton Heston. The original novel differed from the first film in a number of ways, including a parallel story centered on Jesus Christ that was all but absent in the Heston film. The remake’s script is being written by Keith Clarke with a rewrite by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave), and will be directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter). Judah Ben-Hur and Messala have already been cast, with Jack Huston and Toby Kebbell, respectively, filling those roles.

Be sure to keep an eye on GeekNation for more news on this project as it develops! What do you think of a Ben-Hur remake? Is it time to go back there, or should studios leave epic classics well enough alone?

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation,, The Huffington Post, and He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.