Ben-Hur Actor Gets Blessed by Pope Francis

Actor Rodrigo Santoro was blessed by Pope Francis while filming "Ben-Hur."
Actor Rodrigo Santoro takes a break from filming BEN-HUR,
 which is currently in production in Rome, to attend the
 Papal Audience and meet Pope Francis. (MGM/Paramount)
Not your usual perk of the job. Yesterday, actor Rodrigo Santoro, who will play the role of Jesus in the new version of Ben-Hur, was blessed by Pope Francis at the Papal Audience at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.

Ben-Hur is the next production churning out from team Downey-Burnett which is set to hit theaters on February 26, 2016 and is probably their biggest project to date. The film is a partnership with MGM and Paramount Pictures. Depending on you ask, it may or may not be a remake of the 1959 film that starred Charlton Heston and was also produced by MGM. Roma Downey and Mark Burnett have been responsible for The Bible and A.D.: The Bible Continues mini-series.

Actress Nazanin Boniadi and actor Rodrigo Santoro of BEN-HUR
 in front of the Vatican for the Papal Audience visit. 

Based on Lew Wallace's novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, this new movie tells the story of Judah Ben-Hur (played by Jack Huston), who is a prince falsely accused of treason. His accuser? His brother Messala (Toby Kebbell) who is an officer with the Roma army. Hur is stripped of his title, taken away from his family and forced into slavery. As time goes on, so does the bitterness and when Hur is finally free to visit his homeland, he is out for blood.

Ben-Hur is directed by Timur Bekmambetov and also stars Nazanian Boniadi, Morgan Freeman, Rodrigo Santoro, Ayelet Zurer and Sofia Black D'Elia.

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