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NEW YORK (AP) — Jack Huston is surrounded by the undead in his new movie “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” but this summer the stakes are even higher. He stars in the role made famous by Charlton Heston in a remake of “Ben-Hur.”

Huston recently watched an early cut of the film and despite the expected jitters from an actor watching his work, he liked what he saw.

“I think the lovely thing is I was seeing it as the big picture. …I was so taken by everything and all the work that everyone had done,” said Huston in a recent interview.

In the 1959 version, the filmmakers used thousands of animals and roughly 10,000 extras. In this remake, they have technology on their side. But Huston says they used special effects judiciously.

“All of us were very interested in trying to do as little CGI as possible in the moments where you didn’t need it,” he said.

The film’s famed chariot scene involved shooting six days a week for two months.

“The chariot scenes, all the slave ship stuff, that’s all us. That’s all me there. …We were very conscious of that and we tried to make it as real as possible, as immersive as possible. … We really wanted to give everyone the real experience because that’s what ‘Ben-Hur’ is. When you associate ‘Ben-Hur’ you see the chariot as well as this incredible character and this arc. Everyone’s gonna be waiting, ‘OK, when’s the chariot scene?’ We knew we had to outdo everything on that.”

“Ben-Hur” is scheduled for an Aug. 12 opening.


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