When it was released in 1959, the epic film Ben-Hur, based on Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, became the second highest-grossing film in history and broke the record for most Academy Awards, winning 11. A new film of the same name, whose trailer was released Wednesday, isn’t a remake or a rehashing of the movie that won Charlton Heston his Oscar, but a new adaptation of Wallace’s story. Starring Jack Huston as Judah Ben-Hur, the movie tells the story of two brothers whose love turns to rivalry, and whose rivalry is sorted out in a chariot race of epic proportions.
The trailer offers a glimpse of Ben-Hur’s journey from a stately home in Jerusalem to enslavement on a Roman battleship to the moment of his glory in the arena. The stakes are high but the rules are simple. As Morgan Freeman’s trainer counsels his pupil: “If you lose, you die.”
Ben-Hur hits theaters Aug. 12.