EXCLUSIVE: The Kings Of Summer actor Moises Arias has joined the cast of Ben-Hur, the historical epic Timur Bekmambetov is directing for MGM and Paramount Pictures. Arias will play Gestas, a teenage Jewish zealot whose family has been murdered by the Romans, who is desperate to fight for his people’s freedom. Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, and Toby Kebbell star in the production which will lens in Europe ahead of a February 26, 2016 release. Arias is an alumnus of Hannah Montana and The Wizards of Waverly Place who starred in Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ 2013 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-nominated The Kings Of Summer. He also lent his voice recently to Despicable Me 2 and appeared in Summit’s sci-fier Ender’s Game. Next up is a role in the Sundance 2015 drama Stanford Prison Experiment opposite Ezra Miller, Michael Angarano, and Billy Crudup, in which Arias plays one of several university students tapped for the real life role-play exercise that got dangerously out of hand. Arias is repped by Talentworks and Myman Greenspan Fineman Fox Rosenberg Light.
Newcomer Luna Blaise has set herself a pair of TV and film roles. She’s got a role in the James Franco drama Memoria, adapted from Franco’s own short story about an anti-social boy in suburban Palo Alto dealing with family dysfunction, his love for a girl who doesn’t know he exists, and his social group of slacker skater punks. Franco, Teo Halm, and Thomas Mann also star in the RabbitBandini Production directed by Vladimir de Fontenay and Nina Ljeti. Blaise will also be seen in ABC’s February debut sitcom Fresh Off The Boat in a guest starring arc as Nicole, a girl who lives in the same neighborhood as young Eddie Huang. She’s repped by Coast to Coast and DNA Entertainment.