Legendary Delays Production on PARADISE LOST to Reduce Budget

     December 12, 2011


We were just starting to get excited about Paradise LostNeat concept art.  A solid cast in Benjamin Walker, Bradley Cooper, Casey Affleck, and Dijmon HounsouA great pitch from director Alex Proyas:

“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.”

Alas, we must wait to see the adaptation of John Milton’s classic work come to fruition.  It was announced tonight that Legendary Pictures is putting plans for a January start date on hold, because all the cool elements of this project add up to too much money.  Details after the jump.

Deadline hears that the project is not cancelled, just delayed.  Legendary’s Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, and producer Vincent Newman are looking at the budget now to see where they can cut 10-15% from an estimate that creeped past $120 million.  Legendary hired crews to shoot in Australia next month, so the move comes as a big surprise.  That said, this isn’t the first time this year a production company has second-guessed its commitment to a big budget film.  Disney briefly put The Lone Ranger on ice, before bringing it back with a reduced budget.  And Universal passed on the ambitious adaptation of The Dark Tower, though producer Brian Grazer promises it will see the light of day.  Sadly, At the Mountains of Madness is dead.

So while it won’t be easy, Legendary should be able to get Paradise Lost back on track.  Deadline suggests production could be rescheduled as early as next summer.  Until then.


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  • Strong Enough

    yea i thought the original budget was 95 million. i think they could pull it off like Zack did with 300. you don’t need over 200 milli to make a cinematic feat. Of course you need the right director.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/colliderbrendan Brendan Bettinger

      Curious because of your phrasing: do you think Proyas is the wrong director?

      • Strong Enough

        no not at all. I have only seen one of his films I, Robot and that was a good movie. I haven’t seen Dark City which people say is a great weird flick that inspired the matrix. Am sure he can pull it off. I was just saying a studio can pull of a cinematic feat without a big HUGE budget you just need the right director, someone like Alex.

      • News Hit

        It also depends what you mean by the term the “right director.” Proyas is obviously a filmmaker with a strong visual style and theological approach to his films, but that does not necessarily make him the right filmmaker to reduce his budget. Some of the qualities necessary to deal with such budgetary difficulties – including pragmaticism – aren’t always found in such gifted auteurs. However, on something like Dark City, Proyas seemed to be able to get a suitable budget for his strange, nightmarish vision (even if the edit was compromised by the studio), so here’s hoping that this reduced budget will mean he is left alone in the edit bay.

  • hey809

    good, the last thing i want to see is a movie about satan. dont make this evil stuff.

    • Zach

      Last thing I want is to see someone express how close-minded they can be. Unfortunately we don’t always get what we want.

  • tome

    this is also good news to me. when people are talking about Paradise Lost, and the first thing they talk about is “angels warring in heaven,” that’s a bad sign to me. this movie has been talked about as an action movie for so long and that’s not what Paradise Lost is. i give proyas credit for attempting to tackle one of the greatest pieces of literature of all time, but i would just like to see it done the right way. i only see this as being a big expensive awards season film, like benjamin button

  • Joshua

    A big expensive awards season film? Have you seen any of Proyas’ films? None of his films have been an awards season film. The Crow is a fantastic film, and Dark City, in my opinion, is one of the best sci-fi films ever made. I, Robot is a fun movie that still makes you think a bit. Proyas is an intelligent director who knows what he’s doing. Granted, Knowing wasn’t exactly a hit, but there were still elements of it that were interesting.

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