It looks like we might have another unnecessary movie redo headed our way. Paramount Pictures and MGM have released a trailer for Ben-Hur (2016) starring Jack Huston, Nazanin Boniadi, and Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman. The film is based on the book “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ” by Lew Wallace, just as is the 11x Oscar-winning film Ben-Hur (1959).
Why mess with perfection? Paramount and MGM obviously see a market for a re-release of Ben-Hur, but then again why wouldn’t they release it around the Christian holidays Easter or Christmas? Ben-Hur (2016), will instead hit theaters towards the end of next summer on August 16, 2016.
The film doesn’t actually look bad, at least from the trailer footage. There are some epic battle scenes and great looking ocean special/digital effects. But the plot doesn’t offer much except for two brother’s contempt for one another. And, i’t’s a bit of a stretch to see Morgan Freeman donning such beautiful grayish locks, but he may be one of the only reasons to see the film, at least from an acting standpoint.
What are other films that come to mind when thinking of unnecessary remakes? How about Planet of the Apes (2001) — a flop but franchise that was redeemed with Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011); Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) — a decent film but really no need to redo Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971); and Arthur (2011) — a horrible attempt to revitalize the magic that Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli brought in Arthur (1981). The list goes on.
Do unnecessary and bad movie remakes diminish or accentuate the quality of the originals? What other films can you think of that fall into this category? Let us know in the comments.