Paradise Lost loses and gains director
John Milton's famous poem Paradise Lost was first talked about being adapted in 2007, when the rumour arrived that perhaps Daniel Craig was set to play the devil in the film version, a film version that had been pitched for quite some time before there was any movement on it.
Today there is some movement, and while it's negative, it's also positive, by that I mean the previous director that was announced as part of the project for the last few years has left, but the new name on the job is even better, Alex Proyas.
The poem concerns the Judeo-Christian story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by Lucifer and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton's purpose, stated in Book I, is "to justify the ways of God to men" (l. 26) and elucidate the conflict between His eternal foresight and free will.
The protagonist of this Protestant epic is the fallen angel, Satan. Looked at from a modern perspective it may appear to some that Milton presents Satan sympathetically, as an ambitious and proud being who defies his tyrannical creator, omnipotent God, and wages war on Heaven, only to be defeated and cast down.
"You can't understand the nature of the fall until you've tasted some of the exhilaration of sin and crime. Scorsese makes you feel the rush of being in the Mafia - what it's like to be special, get the best table at a restaurant, kill anyone and get away with it. Milton was after something like that, and that's what we're trying to convey."
Plus Daniel Craig was being touted as playing the devil, really early days but a good choice none the less.
That seems to have been put to the side for now as Variety through the excellent Quiet Earth has the story that Alex Proyas, the man who is so well known for The Crow and Dark City, has moved on to direct the film.
Now that sounds interesting. If you think of some of the films that Proyas has been responsible for and think of the tone and content of this poem, then you should be seeing something that matches together rather well.
I'm rather excited about this project now and could see Paradise Lost becoming something rather special.
Now for some less than good news though, in the article there's something about how the film will be made, and it says that the film will tell the story of the epic war in heaven between the archangels Michael and Lucifer. All good so far. It also says that it will be developed as an action film including aerial warfare and possibly shot in 3D.
My own personal view is that the last bit has been tacked on by the producers as a comment to try and sell the film, an action film in 3D is something that will excite the money people, but is it something that we really want to see from an Alex Proyas John Milton poem adaptation?