EXCLUSIVE: After a heated competition, Homeland actress Nazanin Boniadi has scored the offer to play the female lead opposite Jack Huston in the Timur Bekmambetov-directed remake of Ben-Hur for MGM and Paramount Pictures. Boniadi plays CIA operative Fara Sherazi on the Emmy-winning Showtime drama starring Claire Danes. She will play Esther in Ben-Hur, the role that Gal Gadot was in discussions before conflicts knocked her out.

boutellaThe runner-up for the role was Sofia Boutella, the young Algeria-born actress who plays the villainess in the Matthew Vaughn-directed Kingsman: The Secret Service. Others who did chemistry reads with former Boardwalk Empire star Huston were Israeli actress Moran Atias (The Next Three Days) and Natalia Warner, who wrapped Learning To Breathe. Boniadi is repped by UK-based AKA.