When it was first announced that Dark City director Alex Proyas was doing an adaptation of the epic John Milton poem “Paradise Lost”, it was rumored that he would be turning the work into an action movie. That seemed a little ridiculous, as “Paradise Lost” is mostly known as a dry, academic tome that students dread slogging through, and while he’s made movies with strong action elements before like The Crow, Proyas usually sticks to headier conceits than big battle sequences. Surely it can’t be true that Proyas is involving himself with something being described as 300 meets Lord of the Rings, is he? After talking to Deadline Hebron, the director has made the nature of this project a bit more clear.
“It’s not just armies battling in an epic war,” says Proyas. “This is an adventure about the origins of good and evil after Lucifer‘s rebellion gets him cast out of Heaven and leads to a struggle with his brother archangel over the soul of mankind, starting with Adam and Eve. That is the scope of the narrative here, and we’ve tried to say as faithful as possible to Milton’s text, particularly its focus on Lucifer’s evolution and the birth of evil.” He goes on to say that, “It’s a family saga, about a group of brothers, two in particular, who are on divergent paths, and Lucifer’s feelings of betrayal by his father and family that forge his descent into evil.”
If that’s the case, then it seems that just as important as the big battle visuals will be finding the right guys to play the two brothers central to the story. It’s been known for a while now that Bradley Cooper has been the man chosen to play Lucifer, but new news is that Proyas is negotiating with Benjamin Walker to play the Archangel Michael.
Walker isn’t very well known at the moment, as he’s mostly appeared in smaller roles, but he looks ready to blow up. Not only has he finished filming the starring role in the upcoming Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, he is also set to star opposite Jennifer Lawrence in David O. Russell’s The Silver Linings Playbook before he goes to work on Paradise Lost.
If there is anybody I would trust to get the visuals of big angel battles happening in Heaven, Hell and Eden right, it’s the guy who made Dark City. And if there’s any big star out there right now who has enough of that charming sleaze necessary to play Lucifer, it’s probably Bradley Cooper. I guess I’ll have to trust, then, that Walker is the right choice for Michael, and that this might turn out to be an interesting project. God willing.