MGM’s “Ben-Hur” has added “Lucy” star Pilou Asbæk to play Pontius Pilate, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.
“Game of Thrones” star Pedro Pascal was previously in talks for the role in the Timur Bekmambetov film about the titular Jewish Prince, played by Jack Huston, who is forced into slavery by his former friend, Messala (Toby Kebbell).
The studio and Asbæk’s reps could not immediately be reached for comment.
Ayelet Zurer plays Ben-Hur’s mother, while Sofia Black-D’Elia plays his sister. Morgan Freeman will co-star in the epic period picture, which will employ cutting-edge technology to reimagine the iconic chariot race.
Keith Clarke and John Ridley wrote the latest script, which is based on Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.”
The 1959 classic film also based on the book starred Charlton Heston in the lead role. With a budget of $15.175 million, it boasted the largest sets built for any film produced at that time. It was nominated for 12 Oscars and won 11, which has only been matched since by “Titanic” and “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”
Mark Burnett is producing with Sean Daniel and Joni Levin, while Roma Downey is executive producing with Clarke, Ridley and Jason Brown. Production will begin early next year in Europe in advance of a February 2016 release.
Asbæk is best known for his lead role in 2012 Danish pirate drama “A Hijacking” and he also featured prominently in the opening scene of Scarlett Johansson‘s “Lucy.” He is represented by UTA and Untitled Entertainment.