Morgan Freeman isn’t taking any time to sit back and smell the roses on his illustrious career. In fact, he is seemingly as eager as ever to take projects that will push him. Freeman hasn’t avoided any genres or types of films in recent years and judging by his two most recent choices, he is looking to have fun on-set and challenge people’s expectations of him.
A few days ago the news broke that Freeman would be joining the upcoming sequel, Ted 2, featuring the returning Mark Wahlberg and new addition, Amanda Seyfried. Freeman is expected to play Ted’s lawyer. Now we have seen Freeman in science-fiction films, seen him drive Mrs. Daisy, heck we have even seen him talk to puppets on Sesame Street, but we have never seen him in a R-rated, raunchy comedy written and directed by Seth McFarlane.
McFarlane’s Family Guy style of adult humor is unique and to imagine an actor with the gravitas of Freeman dropped into that world, should already put a smile on some faces. The opportunities for surreal hilarity are endless with Freeman defending the teddy bear in court for some lewd or wild act that the stuffed animal has committed.
The second film Freeman has lined up could not be anymore different. According to Joblo, he is set to play Ilderim, the man who takes in Ben-Hur and teaches him to expertly ride chariots. Writer John Ridley (12 Years A Slave) has scripted the film and by securing Freeman as the first piece, puts the bar high for the production as they go searching for their iconic lead. Here is a description of the approach to the remake:
This version will focus on the blood feud between Judah Ben-Hur and Messala, who grew up best friends before the Roman Empire took control of Jerusalem. Judah Ben-Hur was a Jewish prince and Messala the son of a Roman tax collector. After the latter leaves to be educated in Rome for five years, the young man returns with a different attitude and mocks Judah and his religion. When a procession passes by Judah’s house and a roof tile accidentally falls and hits the governor, Messala betrays his childhood friend and manipulates the accident so that Judah is sold into slavery and certain death on a Roman warship, with his mother and sister thrown in prison for life. Judah vows revenge, culminating in the famed chariot races.
The remake looks to include more of the involvement of Jesus Christ, which would be a more true adaptation of the book, “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ,” which the remake is based on. There have not been any concrete casting confirmations other than Freeman, however it has been heavily rumored by Joblo, that they are negotiating with Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers) for the lead. It looks like Freeman will be getting his creative fill and hopefully the projects have the same standard of quality that his acting does.