One of the most famous pieces based on Christian mythology, John Milton’s Paradise Lost, will soon be making its way to a theater near you, under the supervision of director Alex Proyas. The film adaptation is expected to focus primarily on the War in Heaven between the archangels Michael and Lucifer – and an actor to fill the latter role has potentially been found.
Hangover franchise star Bradley Cooper is reportedly in early talks to play the part of Lucifer (a.k.a. Satan) in Proyas’ movie, which is being designed as an action-heavy (and possibly 3D) epic.
Variety says an official offer for Cooper to star in Paradise Lost has not yet been made, but negotiations with the actor are expected to begin in the near future. Cooper would be the first big name to officially sign on for the flick, the script for which has been worked on by some five different screenwriters, the most notable being Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark).
Cooper was also recently pegged as a contender to star in a reboot of The Crow – which, by sheer coincidence, was originally adapted for the screen by Proyas. Between the roles of Lucifer and Eric Draven (there’s a pair for you), I would have to favor Cooper being cast as the former, simply because he seems to have a knack for making amoral characters all the more empathetic or interesting (see his turn in Limitless for proof of that). That alone seems like a fitting quality for the Prince of Darkness to possess, yes?
A cinematic adaptation of Paradise Lost that is designed with more of a blockbuster epic mentality does not necessarily mean it will equate to being religious blasphemy in many a moviegoers’ eyes (literary blasphemy, on the other hand…). Biblical stories have been brought to life on the big screen as epic and grandiose productions before (see: The Ten Commandments) in a manner that did justice to their inspirations. Heck, even Prince of Egypt sat well with most moviegoers – and that movie added musical sequences (not to mention, animated Steve Martin and Martin Short) to the mix!
I can’t exactly say that Cooper immediately springs to my mind as a perfect match to play Lucifer, but he could be OK in the part. Likewise, Proyas is really a hit-or-miss kind of filmmaker whose works (to me) can range from macabre and sophisticated (Dark City) to unintentionally ludicrous and silly (Knowing). So Paradise Lost has the potential to go either way, in terms of quality.
What do you think of Cooper as Lucifer in Paradise Lost?