Yet another noteworthy actor has signed on for Paradise Lost, an upcoming big-budget action blockbuster treatment of John Milton's classic blank-verse poem (published in 1667) that is being directed by Alex Proyas (The Crow, I, Robot).
The latest addition to the film's cast is Rufus Sewell, who previously collaborated with Proyas on Dark City - and recently worked alongside fellow Paradise Lost cast member Benjamin Walker on the impeding horror/history mashup flick, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Variety has confirmed that Sewell's Paradise Lost role will be that of "Samael, Lucifer's partisan who urges him to start the rebellion in Heaven." It will be the latest antagonistic role taken on by the character actor, who has played memorably villainous types in the past (ex. A Knight's Tale, The Legend of Zorro, The Illusionist, etc.).
Here is how Proyas previously described his cinematic adaptation of Milton's famous Biblical tale:
"['Paradise Lost' is] 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.”
Walker and Bradley Cooper are playing the aforementioned warring siblings (ie. the archangel Michael and Lucifer/Satan, respectively) in Paradise Lost. Additional players for both good and evil include Dominic Purcell as Moloch, Djimon Hounsou as Abdiel (the angel of death), Casey Affleck as Gabriel (the messenger angel), and Callan McAuliffe as Michael’s second in command, Uriel. Also featured are Camilla Belle (10,000 B.C., The Ballard of Jack and Rose) and Diego Boneta (Pretty Little Liars, next year's Rock of Ages) as Eve and Adam, respectively.
Early conceptual imagery shown at the Legendary Pictures Comic-Con 2011 panel suggest Proyas' Paradise Lost will truly be a grand-scale treatment of Milton's source material - one that also combines motion-capture performances, 3D visuals, and stylized CGI to realize three grand set pieces: the battles set in Heaven, Hell, and Eden. In the hands of someone like Proyas, the final results are bound to be pretty (visually) spectacular.
BAFTA nominee Stuart Hazeldine (Exam) reportedly did a significant reworking of the original Paradise Lost screenplay, which was penned by newcomers Philip de Blasi and Byron Willinger. Thereafter, the script was polished by Academy Award-nominee Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark) and, most recently, newcomer Ryan Condal.
That's all to say: there is good reason to be hopeful that Proyas will be working from a (if nothing else) decent screenplay for Paradise Lost, given some of the bigger names who were involved in crafting it.
Paradise Lost is slated to begin principal photography in the first quarter of 2012. It will (most likely) arrive in theaters no earlier than Summer 2013.