Daily, as we approach the new "Ben-Hur" coming to theaters in August, news about the Paramount Studios/MGM update of this epic story is rolling out. On July 15, The Christian Post reports on the latest from producer Roma Downey for "Ben-Hur."
Recently in a live simulcast to which AXS was invited, Roma introduced the artists who are collaborating with Paramount Studios/MGM for the new "Ben-Hur." The array of artists she introduced for the "Ben-Hur" team included: writers, actors, directors, singers and more.
On July 14, Christine Thomasos posted an Instagram photo of Gospel, R & B music duo Mary-Mary with the headline "Gospel Duo Mary-Mary Working On New Music Epic Movie Ben-Hur." Christine Thomasos of Christian Post on July 14 reveals the latest information on renowned Mary-Mary's return from a hiatus to work on music for the upcoming "Ben-Hur." Successful solo artists Erica Campbell and Tina Campbell have worked together for 12 years and are now back again as Mary-Mary.
On July 13, Paramount Studios/MGM's "Ben-Hur" releases King and Country's new music video "Ceasefire." On July 13, Entertainment Weekly (EW) reports on the release of this new video. They observe, "Ben-Hur may be the story of a man wronged, on a quest for vengeance, but a music video featuring new footage from the upcoming movie is calling for a Ceasefire.” On July 13, We Are Geeks also reports on this new video, the recently released posters, and trailers. They tell how "Ceasefire" is part of the new "Ben-Hur" soundtrack. IMDb also shares new posters, trailers, and featurettes for the new "Ben-Hur" for a modern audience.
AXS recently found the premiere of this powerful, timely new music video impacting as For King and Country sang "...One by one we will call for a ceasefire. One by one we will fight for a better end. One by one we could rewrite the headlines..." Their music along with the interviews in a live simulcast following the live premiere screening events and interviews at Paramount Studios for the upcoming "Ben-Hur" were all profoundly relevant for such a time as this.
The For King and Country music video, "Ceasefire," features new footage from Paramount Studio's "Ben-Hur" based on the epic novel by Civil War General Lew Wallace "Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ." The King and Country video moves from shots of the group to shots from the 2016 "Ben-Hur" movie. These new "Ben-Hur" scenes in the video follow the journey of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) from prince, to slave, to chariot racer, and ultimately to a man fully set free. The For King and Country video also includes new images of Jesus Christ (played by Rodrigo Santoro).
Recently in a live simulcast to which AXS was invited, Mark Burnett has revealed he and other producers decided to reveal Jesus more directly in their update of "Ben-Hur." He said, "...in the earlier versions audiences never saw Jesus’ face...they decided to let people see Jesus and to experience the love of Jesus.” Mark Burnett and producer wife Roma Downey have both also stressed the timely themes of forgiveness and reconciliation in the updated "Ben-Hur" in the live simulcast and at the live premiere screening events at Paramount Studios recently to which AXS was also invited. Mark said in the recent simulcast, “ If we don’t forgive, the Father will not forgive us…if we ever needed reconciliation it is now.”
From Paramount Studios/MGM, Roma Downey says "“We are so honored that For King and Country, have allowed us to use their beautiful song for our film Ben-Hur ....Our country today is filled with so much anger, tension and violence and this song and our film spread a message of forgiveness and reconciliation that is needed now more than ever.”
Interestingly, the For King and Country duo, Joel and Luke Smallbone, are artists originally from Australia. Producer Mark Burnett is originally from England and his wife and fellow producer, Roma Downey, is originally from Ireland. Both leading men in "Ben-Hur" Jack Huston as Judah Ben-Hur and Toby Kebbell as Messala are also originally from England. Like so many producers, directors, and actors associated with Great Britain, they all along with their whole team, who include many Europeans, bring classic artistry, articulate expression, and depth of heart and soul to their gift to the globe in the new "Ben-Hur," due out in cinemas in August.
Also, interestingly, Get Reading from the UK continues to announce more stars for their upcoming live "Ben-Hur" as part of their Year of Culture that follows the worldwide premiere of the movie "Ben-Hur." Great Britain has always been singular in its artistic gifts to the world that are marked by balance of skillful artistry and depth of thought. Most importantly the whole team involved in producing the new "Ben-Hur" bring artistic diligence to this classic story as an action movie with great heart for a modern audience for such a time as this. Stay tuned for more from exclusive "Ben-Hur" interviews and first-looks from AXS.