morgan freeman

MGM and Paramount’s upcoming Timur Bekmambetov-directed remake of Ben-Hur has officially added its first cast member. Morgan Freeman will play Ildarin, the man who trains Ben-Hur. It’s no secret that we love Ben Hur. It is one of the great classics. We’ve listed Ben Hur as one of our top 10 Movie Reboots to look forward to and one of our Top 10 revenge movies.

Ildarin is the character that trains BenHur in the skill of chariot racing. The role is that of a rich arab man filled with wisdom and the desire to win at the annual chariot championships in Rome. Ben Hur crosses his path and Ilarin finds in him the ideal rider for his chariot steering his beloved white arabian horses.

We learned last month that Tom Hiddleston was being eyed for the title role, but no official decision has, as of yet, been announced.

Set for release on February 26, 2016, the new take on Ben-Hur was originally scripted by Keith Clarke (The Way Back), with revisions by Academy Award-winner John Ridley (12 Years a Slave). It is based on Lew Wallace’s 1880 epic novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of The Christ.”

The film is said to return to the heart of the epic novel with a focus on the nature of faith. The story follows a falsely-accused nobleman who survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his best friend who betrayed him. Both must come to choose between retribution or forgiveness.