In the climate of budget conscious studios hesitant to gamble money on anything that doesn’t have a “2” in the title, more and more ambitious projects are having trouble crossing the finish line. Universal passed on Guillermo del Toro’s At the Mountains of Madness, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are struggling to get their blended, multi-part film/TV adaptation of The Dark Tower off the ground, and most recently we saw Warner Bros. put their fantasy pic Arthur & Lancelot on hold in order to work out budget issues.
Now you can add Paradise Lost to the list of blue balled titles, as Legendary has pulled the plug. The ambitious adaptation of John Milton’s classic epic poem was to begin shooting in January, but Legendary decided in December to push production back in order to reduce the budget. Now the studio has scrapped the project all together. Hit the jump for more, including why Legendary backed out.
Director Alex Proyas had an ambitious vision for the film, as he planned to utilized motion capture and 3D for the action-oriented adaptation. The cast was impressive, with Bradley Cooper, Benjamin Walker, Casey Affleck, and Dijmon Hounsou all onboard, but ultimately the studio’s decision came down to budget. Deadline reports that the crux of Legendary’s issue was with the enormous amount of visual effects. They attempted to scale back a budget that had crossed the $120 million mark, but in the end it apparently proved too daunting.
There’s no word on whether or not Proyas will shop the film around elsewhere, but one assumes he’ll have to make some considerable creative concessions to get the budget down to a studio-friendly number. Cooper just told Steve a few weeks ago that he hoped to start filming Paradise Lost in June, but alas it’s not meant to be. Personally, I find it depressing to think that studios won’t hesitate to throw money at Grown Ups 2 but are unwilling to go out on a limb for something ambitious. Something adventurous. Something different.