‘Paradise Lost’ Gets Axed By Legendary Pictures

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 8:47 pm,

It seems that not even the devil himself can save Alex Proyas’ big-budget adaptation of Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost. The film – which recounts the angel Lucifer’s fall from heaven and transformation into Satan – was set to go into production this summer, having been delayed from its original January start date. Deadline now reports that Legendary pictures has decided to scrap the film altogether.

Budget concerns were the culprit for Paradise Lost’s troubles. The film – which would’ve needed extensive visual effects to create the sets of heaven, hell and the Garden of Eden, not to mention its angelic protagonists – already had a budget over $100 million and was expected to climb even higher as production went on. Needless to say, that was a risky proposition in the eyes of Legendary.

Paradise Lost was apparently never officially green lit, so the money already spent on scripts and pre-production will be the only losses (rather than penalty compensation for the cast or crew, etc.). While the film was indeed big in both scope and cost, it did have more than a few things going for it – the first and foremost being a solid director in Proyas, whose previous work like The Crow, Dark City, and I, Robot are still well respected and relevant today.

The cast of Paradise Lost was also promising, led by Bradley Cooper as Lucifer/Satan and Benjamin Walker (who has a breakout role in this year’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) as Lucifer’s friend-turned-rival, the archangel Michael, alongside a cast of recognizable actors such as Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond), Dominic Purcell (Prison Break), Rufus Sewell (Dark City), Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone), Diego Boneta (also set for a breakout this year in Rock of Ages) and Camilla Belle (Push).  Needless to say, this film was coming with some considerable talent behind it.

paradise lost artwork Paradise Lost Gets Axed By Legendary Pictures

Conceptual artwork for 'Paradise Lost'

More to the point: while somewhat of a financial gamble, Paradise Lost was one of those rare cinematic gambles that seemed as though it would reward the risk. Judging from the reaction we saw around here in the Screen Rant comments section, movie fans were by and large excited to see a blockbuster biblical action/drama helmed by Proyas. The notion of seeing angels do battle on otherworldly terrains (possibly in 3D) was a welcome prospect – one that we may now only get to discuss in our reminiscing on what could have been…

For now it seems that Paradise Lost is…er, lost to us. We’ll let you know if the situation changes.

Source: Deadline

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  1. Thank God. That casting is HORRENDOUS.

  2. Shame.

    But the fact that at the end of your article you mourn the loss of unseen battles between angels and devils makes me happy it got canned.

    It’s about time hollywood starts making movies that don’t revolve around just another ‘epic battle’ scene. I’m sure they also planned a Lucifer, riding a flaming horse in front of his troops, giving a flaming speech (no pun intended). Please release us from Hollywood cliches in filmings from great literary pieces.

    And filmed in 3D? God I hope not. If this film needs 3D to make it interesting it must have been a pretty lousy script.

    Anyway, let’s hope someone makes a film of this story sometime, but gets it right.

    • I don’t see anything wrong with huge, epic battle sequences. I was actually really excited for this film.

    • The only issue with your comment is it exists in the modern day. This is epic poetry. The epic battles you see in film in the modern day are cheap rip-offs of our literary forefathers, and that includes this one (referred to as The Battle in Heaven). So, it wouldn’t be hollywood shoe-horning angles v. demons, the text does not work without it.

  3. Whew… That sounds like a mother-father of a film. I wonder if any millionaire or company would be willing to flat some of the bill.

  4. Ive actually written and finished a script and stayed true to the holy bible..ive done my research and asked the lord to help me write his story..why we here and why there is good and evil and where it truthfully originated from..god is real,the devil is real and jesus is our true salvation..if the lord wants his story told so be it..hollywood will have no other choice but do it..personally would luv to see peter jackson,mel gibson working on this epic of a movie!

    • Amen! Hope it works out for you.

      About the article: I don’t understand how this gets canned, but 300 2 gets a green light. Perhaps there is a deeper issue than we realise. I for one don’t want people to feel sorry for Satan’s position in the scheme of things, so perhaps we should not expect films that paint a sympathetic picture of the Devil.

  5. I think perhaps a spin on the tale is required. If you want the ‘whole world’ to watch your movie, then you better surprise them and give them something never before experienced. Not to worry, an epic film depiction of the celestial hierarchy and how life plays into this is in the works.

  6. Here’s a story that looks good: http://www.heavenswars.com I like the artwork, but the story sounds even better.

  7. I cannot see how how lost paradise would be any more complicated to make due to the animation then other films such as avatar. This story has been around fora hundred of years and deserves the big screen. Screen

  8. Let’s face it. There’s no way you can adapt an epic poem, like John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” for a film like that. It’s too extensive in scope and style.

  9. After reading Paradise Lost, I doubt completely any director anywhere could make a movie out to be as spot on amazing as the epic.