The writing was on the wall for this one. Originally set to start a lengthy production in January in Australia, Alex Proyas‘ “Paradise Lost” was a massive endeavor, promising a 3D mo-cap take on the literary classic that would’ve required twenty weeks of pre-production, eight weeks of principal photography and seventy-two weeks of post-production. But as that start date loomed the studio got nervous, putting the film on hold, citing both budget and story issues. Perhaps feeling optimistic that they could get that $120 million budget whittled down, a summer start was still on the table, and the film’s star, Bradley Cooper, said as recently as two weeks ago that the movie would be in front of cameras in June. But alas, it is not to be.
Variety is reporting that Legendary Pictures has canned the film entirely. And we can’t say that we’re shocked. The movie was always a tough sell, and in today’s marketplace, an expensive adaptation of “Paradise Lost” seemed like a devilish bargain (see what we did there?). Deadline elaborates that Legendary had technically not greenlit the project at all, that ultimately the movie only winds up costing them in the low eight figures, and that they aren’t on the hook for any pay-or-play deals either.
For now, we can dream of what could have been. Bradley Cooper was to play Lucifer, with Djimon Hounsou as Abdiel the angel of death, Casey Affleck as the heavenly Gabriel, God’s noted messenger and angel. Camilla Belle was set to play Eve, with Callan McAuliffe as Uriel, one of seven archangels. No word on if the project will be reworked or reconceived further, but it seems this incarnation will never come to pass.
This is probably all great news for Warner Bros., who are trying to get the Wolfpack back this summer to shoot “The Hangover Part III” with a Memorial Day release in 2013 being eyed. Suddenly, Bradley Cooper’s calendar just got a lot more open.