The daughter of Ben-Hur's slave, Esther, is the film's heroine. Natalie Portman is epically beautiful, beautiful enough to capture the heart of one of cinema's greatest heroes. She is also a fitting choice as the role was originally played by the stunning Haya Harareet, who, like Portman, is Israeli.
Photo by Vinoodh Matadin & Inez Van Lamsweerde, Interview, December 2010
If we lived in 26 A.D. Jerusalem, we would bet our heard earned shekels on Michael Fassbender in a chariot race, which is why he is the ideal choice to portray Judah Ben-Hur. Just look at the guy, he's a champion. As a bonus, he's got the acting chops to carry the film's more emotional scenes, for example when he discovers that his mother and sister have contracted leprosy.
Photo by Sebastian Kim, Interview, February 2012
Miriam is Ben-Hur's loving mother. Throughout the film, she faces many hardships (imprisonment, leprosy) but always maintains her elegance and beauty. Susan Sarandon could undoubtedly maintain her stunning appearance while portraying great sorrow.
Following his portrayal of Superman, we think Henry Cavill needs to show the world his dark side. Messala turns against his friend, imprisoning him and his family; what's darker than that? This also fulfills every female's secret fantasy of seeing Cavill and Fassbender face off in a chariot race.
Photo by Mikael Jansson, Interview, May 2013
What's an epic film without Harrison Ford? Ford is Han Solo and Indiana Jones. We think he would be perfect as Quintus Arius, the kindly Roman leader who frees Ben-Hur from slavery, adopts him as his son and trains him to be a master charioteer.
Hugh Jackman can do anything: fight crime, sing show tunes, perform magic, you name it. He even looks rather Jesus-y in the opening scenes of Les Misérables. If anyone is capable of playing the role of Jesus Christ, it's Jackman.