Sure, John Milton’s Paradise Lost is a 400 page poem written in blank verse, but at its heart is a great story, which has found its way into the very heart of Christian mythology. Paradise Lost is about the battle between Lucifer, once one of God’s bestest angels, and the Lord Yaweh and his Hosts. Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven and all that. Good stuff, and essentially the basis for 70% of all the comics ever published under DC’s Vertigo banner.
It is on its way to becoming a movie, believe it or not (if you believe it, it’s probably because we reported on this a long time ago) – a potentially 100 million dollar blockbuster, which I am sure few Divinity students ever expected. But again, the story at the heart of Milton’s writing is pretty kick-ass, and Lucifer makes a fascinating central character.
So who will play the Lightbringer? In a New York Times article about the development of Paradise Lost, producer Vincent Newman (familiar with the Devil after his work on A Man Apart) says that they’re looking at Daniel Craig or Heath Ledger. These are obviously just big money fantasy casting ideas, but Ledger’s the right choice of the two – Craig’s too craggy and old to play Lucifer, at least to the eyes of this fanboy who pictures the Devil as David Bowie thanks to Sandman.
The whole article is really interesting, mostly because of the inherent tension that comes in adapting something like this. Studio types can’t see the poetry to the story, while the story itself walks a fine line between being ideal for the Christian market and offending the narrow-minded types whose only understanding of their own religion comes from televangelists. Because Lucifer IS the hero of the piece, if a completely flawed one who self-destructs. I really hope this movie gets made, and that it has something more to it than just Lord of the Rings-style battle sequences between angels.