Tom Hiddleston in 'Ben-Hur': The Pros (& One Con) of Loki Moving On
Tom Hiddleston might exchange his dapper suits and Loki horns for Roman sandals and a toga soon. The actor and fan phenomenon is officially being considered for the title role of an upcoming Ben-Hur remake, but has not yet been confirmed. MGM has decided to remake this film classic after 55 years, taking on 12 Years a Slave's John Ridley to adapt the script. Although Tom Hiddleston has three large roles on the books already, as well as an active role in the Marvel universe, it seems he'd be perfect for this classic role.
In case you weren't around in 1959 for the last iteration of this classic, Ben-Hur is the story of a Jewish prince aptly named Judah Ben-Hur, which is the role MGM is hoping to fill with Hiddleston. He lives through the beginning and heightening of Roman occupation, eventually being enslaved by his former (Roman) friend Messala. The film culminates in a famous chariot race, which marks Ben-Hur's revenge on Messala. There have been multiple versions of the film across history, but all stem from the 1880 novel by Lew Wallace, which has been called "The Book That Shook the World."
Pro: He has the acting chops
Before he was everyone's favorite frost giant, Tom was a classically-trained actor. He studied at Cambridge and trained at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before entering the world of television and film. Since then, he has portrayed important historical figures like Darwin, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Henry V, pairing with well-known directors such as Steven Speilberg and Woody Allen. Just this year, he starred in a stage adaptation of Coriolanus, so he's clearly ready for this Roman classic. No matter the demands of a 19th-century novel-turned-canonical film, the Hiddles has got it covered.
Pro: He might wear short skirts...
We already know that Sir Hiddles has fabulous calves, thanks to Loki's boots, but we haven't yet seen his (probably equally attractive) legs. If the remake of Ben-Hur mimics the costumes of the 1959 Charlton Heston version, it's possible that the costumes might be similar, meaning a lot of leather and short toga skirts, with the possibility of a whip for the charitot-race scene. Imagine the hot Hiddleston possibilities.
Con: It might interrupt his Marvel run
No timeline has yet been released for the Ben-Hur remake, but it's possible that a one-off movie from a rival studio could interrupt Marvel Studios' carefully-planned slate of movies through 2019. If a Roman classic deprives fans of their favorite Marvel villain, there might be a Loki-style revolt.
Pro: He knows how to navigate a bad brother relationship
The first Thor movie set up a troubled relationship between Thor and Loki that has continued throughout subsequent films in the Marvel cinematic universe. Although Thor is half of this tumultuous pair, most of the burden of feeling left out of the Asgardian family (and race) falls on Loki, and Tom has played his troubles out beautifully. Luckily, the relationship between Judah Ben-Hur and his Roman friend Messala is similarly complicated: although they are friends in their youth, they grow to be enemies as the Romans rule over the Jewish people.
Pro: He would stand on the shoulders of giants—in togas
The two past leads of Ben-Hur have been Charlton Heston and Roman Navarro, who both went on to be film legends. Navarro won a special Golden Globe for the best silent film star, and Heston won a Best Actor Oscar for his Ben-Hur, while the 1959 film swept almost every other category for which is was nominated. Of Hiddles picks up this role, it's possible that it will cement his reputation as a Completely Amazing Hollywood Dude, and it could even mean a few easy nominations during awards season.
Images: MGM; cumbercheekstoner/Tumblr