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Ben Hur
Ben Hur“The stunning remake of Ben Hur
  as a two-part adaptation for television
  comes to DVD with a chariot-load of
  excitement and a sterling cast that
  brings this amazing historical saga
  to life

TWO FRIENDS GROW UP TOGETHER in Jerusalem: Judah Ben-Hur (Joseph Morgan: Alexander; Immortals), the son of a wealthy Jewish merchant, and Messala (Stephen Campbell-Moore: The History Boys; The Bank Job), the son of a Roman Senator and a prostitute.

On the death of his mother, Messala was sent to live in the care of Judah's widowed mother Ruth (Alex Kingston: Television's Doctor Who; Like Crazy) and the two boys have become as close as brothers. But all that is about to change.

Judah's sister Tirzah (Kristin Kreuk: Television's Smallville) adores Messala and it seems that nothing can drive them all apart. But fate takes a hand and Messala's father, Marcellus Agrippa (James Faulkner) sends for him to come to Rome: it is a command he cannot refuse; but he promises to return as soon as he can.

Judah is also to fulfil a destiny. His father's friend Simonides (Simon Andreu) has a daughter, Ester (Emily van Camp: Television's Everwood; Brothers And Sisters), and it was the two men's dearest wish that their children would marry. Ester comes with her father to Jerusalem to be presented to Judah to see if they approve of each other…

Some years later, Messala keeps his promise to return; but during preparations for Pontius Pilate (Hugh Bonneville) to be welcomed into the city, an accident leads Messala to believe that Judah and his family are involved in an incident with anti-Roman insurgents led by David (Marc Warren: Television's Hustle; Wanted).

Judah sees his mother, sister and Ester condemned to be killed and he and Simonides are to be crucified, although Judah's sentence is changed and he becomes a galley slave — another step towards the destiny that awaits him.

On board the galley he meets Arrius (Ray Winstone: Sexy Beast; The Departed), a noble Roman with whom his ultimate fate rests. Arrius takes him to Rome, where he meets the Emperor Tiberius (Ben Cross: Chariots Of Fire; Star Trek) and is forced to become a gladiator. He also finds solace in the arms of Athene (Lucia Jiminez), who belongs to Marcellus.

But Judah is determined to return to Jerusalem and when he does so he is given the chance for revenge against Messala, who betrayed him; but it seems he has arrived just in time and a further life-shattering surprise also awaits him…

In this new version of the colossal classic, Ben Hur delivers more action and passion than ever before. It is a gripping story that follows two friends who become bitter enemies and takes advantage of the historic events of the time, as told through the eyes of Judah Ben-Hur — whose path crosses with that of Jesus (modestly played by Julian Casey).

This extraordinary action-packed, adventure-filled saga is an historic epic for a new generation and is an adaptation of the novel by Lew Wallace. It is a spectacular drama that also features: Art Malik as Sheikh Ilderin; Miguel Ángel Muñoz as Antegua; and Kris Holden-Ried as Gaius. James Faulkner's sons Leo and Guy have support roles.

Music is by Robert Lane; Director of Photography is Ousami Rawi; Producers are: Roger Corbi and Simon Vaughan; Written by Alan Sharp; and Directed by Emmy Award winner Steve Shill (Television's Dexter).

The sweeping historical adventure Ben Hur debuts on DVD, courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, on 30 January 2012. Certificate: 15 | Running Time: 185 Minutes Approximately | RRP: £12.99.

Special Features include: The Making Of Ben Hur.

"The stunning remake of Ben Hur as a two-part adaptation for television comes with a chariot-load of excitement and a sterling cast that brings this amazing historical saga to life" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar

"Rome made him a slave… revenge set him free" — Promotional slogan