Benjamin Walker Circling Archangel Role In Paradise Lost

Last week new details emerged about director Alex Proyas‘ epic pic about the battle between Heaven and Hell, Paradise Lost. The divine “family” battle action pic will star versatile actor Bradley Cooper as Lucifer, and now Deadline reports that Benjamin Walker is in negotiations with Legendary Pictures to play the Archangel Michael.

Based on the famed 17th century poem by John Milton, Paradise Lost revolves around the fall of Lucifer and his battle with the Archangel Michael for the souls of humanity. Adam and Eve play a major role in the story, as does Lucifer’s back story: his fall from grace, his feelings of betrayal, and his journey to ultimate evil. It’s an action battle pic, and with talks of celestial sets and motion-capture filmwork, it may turn out like a supped up 300 with wings.

While Cooper is popping up everywhere now and has proved he has some decent acting chops, Walker is somewhat of an unknown quantity. Most recently he’s wrapped filming on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, in which he played the title character, Abraham Lincoln. Beyond that, he’s done some TV, a few shorts, and had roles in Flags of Our Fathers and a few others. I personally haven’t seen anything he’s been in, so I can’t say if he can handle this role or not. I can say that I didn’t recognize his name at all, and given his past I’m surprised he was offered such a pivotal role in what is set to be a tentpole movie for the studio.

This movie has been many years in the planning, and with some huge set pieces and a probable 3D format, it’s going to be something to behold. Not to mention the story and source material. Proyas believes casting Cooper and Walker is the right choice as they will be able to represent the battle between good and evil.

Proyas is also aware of what he’s getting into with this pic, not only with the depth of the story and the philosophical themes, but the sheer scope of the filming, sets and battle sequences. Check out what he said below.

It’s not just armies battling in an epic war. This is an adventure about the origins of good and evil after Lucifer’s rebellion gets him cast out of Heaven and leads to a struggle with his brother archangel over the soul of mankind, starting with Adam and Eve. That is the scope of the narrative here, and we’ve tried to say as faithful as possible to Milton’s text, particularly its focus on Lucifer’s evolution and the birth of evil. It’s 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.

I’ve sometimes thought that only an insane person would want to make this movie, because it’s visually audacious and has to live up to a classic poem that is so beloved. I don’t think the visuals could have been done justice until now, which is the great fun of being a film director in this modern age of visual effects. Despite all those possibilities, the characters are what’s most important.

His deal isn’t closed yet, but I think there’s a wonderful duality about Ben’s persona, this combination of great strength and perfect innocence that works so well for Michael. And Bradley is the most charming guy you’ll ever meet, with this extraordinary charisma. Lucifer was the brightest and smartest of the archangels, and even as he descended into evil and evolved into Satan, he’s not just some black-and-white villain. Bradley brings extraordinary depth to that journey.

Despite the unknown quantity of having Walker involved, I’m definitely keeping this pic on my radar. Milton’s poem is epic and classic for a reason, and a visually stunning and stylized interpretation of that literary work could be amazing entertainment.