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Milton 1, Hollywood 0

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"Milton 1, Hollywood 0"

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The war isn’t over. But Deadline reports that the Paradise Lost movie that was in the works is dead, at least for now:

The big-budget film Paradise Lost, which was slated to start shooting in January but was pushed till early summer, has been scrapped, I’m told. The epic-sized Alex Proyas-directed film about the battle between good and evil inspired by the John Milton poem was to star Bradley Cooper as Lucifer, Benjamin Walker as the archangel Michael, Diego Boneta playing Adam and Camilla Belle Eve, with a host of other actors lined up for the action epic.

Legendary made the decision after trying to bring the cost of the movie down to $120 million, tops. The producer/financier spent low eight figures to get this far but had never green lit the film and therefore should not be on the hook for pay or play talent deals. It is possible that the film could return down the line, as Best Picture nominee Moneyball, American Gangster and some other pictures have done after being scrapped just short of a production start. But Paradise Lost might be halted for a while, until technological advancements in visual effects bring to a reasonable cost the task of creating a believable depiction of the celestial battles that are at the heart of this film. It was too rich for Legendary’s blood even though the company scoured every way possible to find a way to be grand but disciplined.

Now, obviously that “let’s just wait for better special effects thing” means they fundamentally don’t get Milton’s epic. But anything that staves off the day when Bradley Cooper gives us his smug prepster Satan is good news.

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