As reported on Screendaily last week, production is underway in Rome on Paramount Pictures and MGM’s retelling of the classic adventure starring Jack Huston in the title role.
Filming has ended in Matera in the south of Italy and will take up residence for four months on Cinecittà Stages and Cinecittà World’s Theme Park back lot, both of which will double for Jersualem. The film is set to open in the US on February 26, 2016.
Timur Bekmambetov directs from the adapted screenplay by Keith Clarke and John Ridley based on based on Lew Wallace’s novel Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ.
The story centres on Judah Ben-Hur, a wronged prince forced into slavery who returns home to seek revenge.
Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell and Nazanin Boniadi also star. Sean Daniel, Mark Burnett, Joni Levin and Duncan Henderson produce, while the executive producers are Roma Downey, Keith Clarke, John Ridley and Jason Brown.
Ben-Hur will benefit from Italy’s 25% tax rebate for international productions. Cinecittà Studios and Filmmaster Productions have joined forces as Italian executive production services.
“We have waited a long time for our incentives to be tailored to the needs of international productions,” said Cinecittà Studios CEO Giuseppe Basso, who as reported on Screendaily toured Hollywood last week to promote the incentive.
“Filmmaster and Cinecittà Studios, both companies of the Italian Entertainment Group S.p.a., are the first companies applying jointly for the new tax credit incentives,” said Filmmaster Productions CEO Ada Bonvini.
“I am really happy that this film is one of the first beneficiaries of the new tax credit law, together with two important Italian companies,” said Enzo Sisti, the Italian line producer on Ben-Hur. “It truly marks a new start for the Italian audiovisual industry.”
“When we decided to move forward with making the film, we knew we’d be shooting a small part of the film in Matera, but couldn’t support shooting the entire film in Italy until the new fiscal benefit was approved,” added Peter Oillataguerre, evp of physical production at MGM.
“Once that crucial step was made, we were confident it would allow us to shoot the entire movie in Italy. We couldn’t be more pleased with the effectiveness and reliability in collaborating with Cinecittà Studios, who have been assisting us with every aspect of production.”