Ben-Hur was the first literary blockbuster to generate multiple and hugely profitable adaptations, highlighted by the 1959 film that won a record-setting 11 Oscars. More than a century before The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, and decades before Gone with the Wind and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, General Lew Wallace's Ben-Hur was spun off into dozens of popular publications and media productions, becoming a veritable commercial brand name that earned tens of millions of dollars.
Ben-Hur: The Original Blockbuster surveys the Ben-Hur phenomenon's unprecedented range and extraordinary endurance: various editions, spin-off publications, stage productions, movies, comic books, radio plays, and retail products were successfully marketed and sold from the 1880s and throughout the twentieth century. Today Ben-Hur Live is touring Europe and Asia, with a third MGM film in production in Italy.
Jon Solomon's new book offers an exciting and detailed study of the Ben-Hur brand, tracking its spectacular journey from Wallace's original novel through to twenty-first century adaptations, and encompassing a wealth of previously unexplored material along the way.