John Milton

Never let it be said that director Alex Proyas didn’t have a tremendous vision for his big screen adaptation of John Milton’s epic poem of the same name, but that same ambition appears to be what has sunk Paradise Lost for good. Reports are now coming in from various outlets that the project, with a huge budget that already exceeded $120m and a vision that included technology that, as Variety’s Jeff Sneider puts it, “wasn’t there,” has been killed by Legendary Pictures. Proyas was hired for the gig back in September of 2010 and, since then, had gathered an impressive and up-and-coming cast for the epic tale of angelic battles, including Bradley Cooper, Benjamin Walker, Casey Affleck, Djimon Hounsou, Diego González Boneta, and Camilla Belle. The film’s shooting schedule was already moved from January to early this summer, but that’s all moot now that the film has been scrapped entirely.

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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 […]

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“Paradise Lost,” the most well-claimed-to-have-been-read-but-wasn’t-actually-read epic poem of all time (amongst high schoolers), has had more than a few shots at a feature film adaptation. For some reason – perhaps because it’s a gigantic naked tome of human moral psychology with a whisper-thin plot that it dangles by – it hasn’t made it to your local cinerama-plex-a-dome. Now, it might. Dark City and The Crow director Alex Proyas has been hired to helm an adaptation that focuses on the war between Team Lucifer and Team God and promises some graphic Angel on Angel violence. The phrase “action film” have been tossed around, but the brand of action that Proyas delivers is usually fulfilling both on a visceral and mental level. Oddly enough, he may be the perfect person to take a challenging project like this. Now, who to cast as Satan? Is Dave Grohl available? CGI Young Al Pacino? [The New Cinematical]

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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