How well do you know your Christian mythology? Even if you aren’t religious, the backstory of Heaven has long been a focus of great artists throughout history.
Without a doubt one of the most famous stories in the Christian cannon has to be John Milton’s 17th-century epic poem Paradise Lost. Well, Variety reports that Legendary Pictures is giving Paradise Lost a shot at the silver screen, and directing this epic adaptation will be none other than Alex Proyas (Knowing, The Crow, Dark City).
If you haven’t been paying attention to films like The Da Vinci Code, Legion, or The Last Exorcism, Christian mythology is back en vogue as ripe source material for cinematic adaptation. So it’s only natural that Paradise Lost would be adapted to film. Milton’s epic chronicled two major events: the fall of the angel Lucifer (a.k.a. Satan) from heaven, as well as the fall of man, as told through the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.
The film version of Paradise Lost will reportedly be an action/epic that follows The War In Heaven, in which archangel Michael battles his traitorous brother, Lucifer. Early speculation is that there will be aerial angel battles galore, and that yes, the film could possibly be shot in 3D.
The film’s script has been worked on by a handful of writers; Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi and Stuart Hazeldine all worked on the primary drafts, which were then polished and revised by the likes of Lawrence Kasdan and most recently, Ryan Condal. Interestingly enough, out of the bunch only Kasdan has an extensive screenwriting resume, having worked on such classics as Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Body Heat.
While some may fear controversy due to the religious subject matter, I personally think Paradise Lost is one of those stories that come off as more of the action/epic it’s intended to be, rather than as some moralistic religious allegory or commentary. Getting mad at the idea of angels battling it out in paradise would kind of be like getting mad at Clash of the Titans for its loose interpretation of Greek Mythology – not the type of fish that I think too many people are going to fry.
Proyas is an interesting choice of a director; his films are generally hit (The Crow) or miss (Knowing), and while he’s no stranger to big-budget tentpoles (I, Robot), I’m not sure if he’s tackled anything THIS ambitious or THIS epic before. It’ll be interesting to see how this film progresses when the first images and trailers start to emerge.
Finally, the thought of seeing something biblical presented in 3D makes me feel like the end times are truly upon us. Okay so that’s just a joke, but seriously, if done in proper “true 3D” fashion, the sight of an angelic war could be pretty awesome – if, done, right.
No word yet on when Legendary hopes to get Paradise Lost in theaters or who will be starring. Stay tuned for more.
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Comic book image source: Mike Carey “Lucifer: The Wolf Beneath The Tree”