Written by: Samuel K. Sloan (SoSF Producer & Managing News Editor)
One of the most ancient and colorful legends that has ever been emitted from the mind of humankind is being tackled from a serious perspective by Legendary Pictures.
In 1667 poet and author John Milton put this ancient tale of the ultimate battle between good and evil in his epic poem called “Paradise Lost,” and now Scott Derrickson, as director, will take that pristine classic and turn it into a live-action, big screen feature film.
“Paradise Lost” is the story of Lucifer’s, (the mythical Morning Star of Heaven), great fall from power after his failed rebellion against the ultimate Superpower and how he brought down with him thrones, leaders and the great gods of antiquity. Then the story continues with how we human beings became the centerpiece of this whole light versus dark scenario that every great storyteller from the stone age until our present day has spoken or written about in volumes of legends, poems, plays, novels, essays and screenplays.
Jon Jashni from Hyde Park Productions, the other creative force behind this project stated that this story has a “timeless theme along with (an) inherently powerful and visual dramatic story. We are excited by the challenge of going back to the source material.”
Legendary’s CEO Thomas Tull added to Jashni’s statment by saying that there will be no given timetable for the production of “Paradise Lost” because, “given the gravity of the source material, it’s really important to get it right. It will be ready when it’s ready.”
In my ‘humble’ opinion, “given the gravity of the source material” is an understatement. Hollywood will need to tread very lightly and carefully with this little gem. Many in the religious community will be keeping a very keen eye on every move they make. Just ask Mel Gibson and Martin Scorcese. But, I believe I do have a solution.
To make this a highly successful film, first drop the title. Too much baggage already with such a tie-in to Milton’s masterpiece. Secondly, leave out the religious aspects completely and turn the story into what it originally had been all along before it was turned into a religious saga with an agenda nearly 6500 years ago. In its most unblemished form Lucifer’s fall is the ultimate scifi/fantasy tale from the mind of ancient mankind as they tried to come to grips with their perception of good and evil, and their observation of shooting stars, cosmic phenomena and the workings of nature that they witnessed everyday.
The gods and Lucifer were for them what Kirk, Spock, the Klingons and Romulans, or, Luke, Hans and Darth Vader is to us, the light and dark elements in the oldest known question ever posed by anyone, “Why am I here, and what’s it all about.” If the studio sticks with that basic premise, then whatever ends up on the screen should be entertaining, lively, exciting to watch, informative and just plain fun. Or, as David Letterman would call it, “Infotainment.”