Casting Roundup: 'Paradise Lost' & 'Neighborhood Watch'

Alex Proyas is scheduled to begin shooting his big-budget treatment of John Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost, by the beginning of 2012 - and the film has now filled yet another pivotal role: that of Moloch, the right-hand man to Lucifer (Bradley Cooper).

Meanwhile, Saturday Night Live alumnus Akiva Schaffer is gearing up to begin production later this month on his comical alien invasion flick, Neighborhood Watch. The latest addition to the cast is arguably one of the most famous actors whose face you've never seen (more on that later).

Neighborhood Watch will hit theaters in Summer 2012 - so we've got a whole six months to look forward to (sarcasm!) without a movie about invading extraterrestrials. Paradise Lost, on the other hand, will likely be released no earlier than Summer 2013, given the digital effects-heavy nature of the project.


Paradise Lost

dominic purcell paradise lost prison break
Kathleen Quinlan and Dominic Purcell on 'Prison Break'

Dominic Purcell has been somewhat ubiquitous over the last month, showing up in both the Straw Dogs remake and Killer Elite - though, he remains best known as the (wrongly) imprisoned Lincoln Burrows on Prison Break. He's now signed on for yet another action-packed project, in the form of Proyas' grand scale Biblical production, Paradise Lost.

Heat Vision has confirmed that Purcell will appear in Paradise Lost as Jerahmeel, the angel who takes on the title of Moloch - once he joins forces with the Dark One himself, Satan (Cooper). Benjamin Walker is playing the archangel Michael, who engages in a truly epic war against his fallen sibling, while well-respected stars like Djimon Hounsou and Casey Affleck will also be part of "God's army," as Abdiel (the angel of death) and Gabriel (the messenger angel), respectively. Additional cast members include Callan McAuliffe as Michael's second in command, Uriel - and (possibly) both Camilla Belle and Diego Boneta as Eve and Adam.

Proyas is well-renowned for his visual prowess as a director (see: The Crow, Dark City) and Paradise Lost very much looks to benefit from that pedigree. Early conceptual art previewed at the film's 2011 Comic-Con panel likewise hinted at an impressively large-scale drama, teasing awe-inspiringly destructive imagery of angels battling one another.

Combine that with the promise of three Lord of the Rings-style battle sequences (in Heaven, Hell, and Eden, respectively) and Proyas' assurances that Paradise Lost will still remain loyal to the nature of Milton's source material - not to mention, a screenplay co-penned by Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark scriber Lawrence Kasdan - and there seems to be good reason to look forward to this biblical action-drama.


Neighborhood Watch

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Doug Jones as 'The Pale Man'

Doug Jones could be referred to as a modern-day Boris Karloff (or Lon Chaney, if you like) who has become heavily decked out in prosthetics and makeup to play many a memorable onscreen "monster," be it Abe Sapien in the Hellboy movies, Pan and "The Pale Man" in Pan's Labyrinth, one of the Gentlemen on the famous Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Hush" - or even the undead Billy Butcherson in Disney's Hocus Pocus.

Heat Vision (again) has learned that Jones looks to don an elaborate costume yet again as an alien invader in Neighborhood Watch, the latest action-comedy from Superbad screenwriting duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg - who worked from a screen story concocted by Jared Stern (Bolt, Mr. Popper's Penguins). As mentioned before, SNL helmer Akiva Schaffer is directing the flick.

The setup for Neighborhood Watch is pretty simple: a pack of suburban dads and their male neighbors - whose ranks include Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Billy Crudup, Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd), and Will Forte (MacGruber) - create a neighborhood watch group, as an excuse to take a break from their significant others. However, things take that inevitable turn for the unexpected when the men have to stave off a sinister alien plot to destroy the planet.

Shawn Levy (Real Steel) is producing Neighborhood Watch, which reads as a film that could ultimately go either way (re: be bad or good). Comical heavweights like Stiller, Vaughn, and Hill tend to be very hit-or-miss nowadays, while Rogen and Goldberg's last two writing collaborations (Pineapple Express and The Green Hornet) were given a pretty mixed reception overall. Still, when all of these folk are on their A-game, the result can be great fun - so here's hoping for the best.


Neighborhood Watch is scheduled to invade U.S. theaters on July 27th, 2012.

Paradise Lost looks to hit theaters by Summer 2013. We'll let you know when it has an official release date.

Source: THR (link 1) (link 2)

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