When Bradley Cooper signed on to play Satan in the forthcoming big screen adaptation of John Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost,” he took on a far more nuanced role than you might expect.
Hollywood has portrayed Satan as everything from a bright red, cartoonish beast to a very human-seeming trickster, but he’s generally a one-note character. You may remember Al Pacino’s suave lawyer (notably named John Milton) in The Devil’s Advocate, Elizabeth Hurley’s gorgeous temptress in Bedazzled, or Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s decidedly insecure character in South Park.
But Cooper will have a tougher task in trying to bring Milton’s character to life. Milton’s portrayal of Satan has been a subject of debate and some discomfort for centuries. While his epic aimed “to justify the ways of God to men,” God comes off as a sort of tyrant at the poem’s start, and Satan, in many ways, seems the more appealing character.
Why is Milton’s devil so tempting? In his book The Statesman’s Manual, Samuel Taylor Coleridge explained that Milton’s Satan possesses a remarkable single-mindedness and strength of will, or as he put it, “the fearful resolve to find in itself alone the one absolute motive of action, under which all other motives from within and from without must be either subordinated or crushed.” While Satan’s chances of success against an omnipotent God are nil, he refuses to give up. Faced with impossibility, he tries to reframe reality, claiming that he “can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n,” or paradoxically stating “Evil, be thou my good.” Coleridge believed that “even men of honest intentions too frequently become fascinated” with such attitudes.
And Coleridge didn’t have to look hard for examples. Fellow Romantic poet William Blake famously stated that Milton wrote “in fetters” in describing God and his angels, and wrote much more freely in depicting Satan and his fallen army, because “he was a true poet and of the devil’s party without knowing it.” Percy Bysshe Shelley stated, “Nothing can exceed the energy and magnificence of the character of Satan as expressed in Paradise Lost. It is a mistake to suppose that he could ever have been intended for the popular personification of evil.” And later, “Milton’s Devil as a moral being is as far superior to his God.”
Cooper, for his part, seems aware of the nuances of the role. He recently told Entertainment Weekly that he’d enjoyed studying “Paradise Lost” in college, and that he’d vied for the role of Satan for three years, even filming an unsolicited audition in his kitchen. Asked what he thought of Milton’s devil, he offered,
I just fell in love with that character. Satan is kind of the guy you agree with — I don’t know if you agree with him, but you understand his argument and he’s very compelling. Hopefully we’ll be able to maintain the integrity of that.
I hope they can, as the temptation for readers to fall for Satan (and to, essentially, fall with him) before realizing his faults is one of the more extraordinary aspects of Milton’s poem. Women, at least, should have a hard time resisting, as Cooper revealed that Satan will look just like him: “I don’t know what that says about how satanic I look but, yes, it will be me.” Hopefully we all fall for him a bit at the beginning of the movie. At least that’s how Milton would have wanted it.
Paradise Lost is scheduled for release near the end of 2013. Alex Proyas, whose credits include Dark City and The Crow, will direct the 3-D blockbuster.
Eric Jul 25th, 2011 News, Paradise Lost 0 Replies
Eric Jul 23rd, 2011 Appearances, Gallery 1 Reply
I’m actually have a really hard time trying to find photos of Bradley at Comic-Con, but I did find 1 photo of him at the Panel. Check it out below. If anybody has any fan photos or are able to find any kind of photos of him at Comic Con, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Bradley Cooper Comic Con Photos.” Of course you will get full credit for the photos. Enjoy the photo!
As you know, Bradley attended the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con Convention yesterday and I have a video containing some footage of his appearance. It’s not much at all, but at least it’s something. I cannot get the actual video to embed on the site, just click the image below and it will take you to the video where it can streamed on a different site. Enjoy!
Eric Jul 23rd, 2011 News, Paradise Lost 0 Replies
If you’re like most people, Bradley Cooper is not necessarily the first actor you might choose to play Lucifer in a grand, epic cinematic telling of Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” Even Cooper, the handsome leading man perhaps best known for his starring role in the “Hangover” movies, conceded as much during the Legendary Pictures Comic-Con International panel Friday afternoon.
But the actor explained that he was excited by the opportunity to depict Lucifer as a sympathetic character — having studied “Paradise Lost” in college, he sees it as an “intimate family story” about two brothers and a father. Of course, that father just happens to be God.
Granted, there was not a lot of thinking small on display during the presentation, which, in addition to “Paradise Lost” showcased Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming “Pacific Rim” and Sergei Bodrov’s “The Seventh Son.” Casts and the directors from the films were present to greet fans and give a very early glimpse into the movies in a conversation moderated by Hero Complex’s Geoff Boucher.
“Paradise Lost” director Alex Proyas said one of the biggest challenges of the project — apart from translating an epic poem into a more traditional narrative — is rendering the elaborate visuals in a new and exciting way, pointing out that it’s only the advancement of moviemaking technology that’s made it possible for the project to even begin to take shape. “This film couldn’t have been made a few years ago,” he said.
Still, he emphasized that it’s the story and characters that will be central to the film in the end and that the creative team is making every effort to remain as faithful as possible to the initial text, bringing in a Milton scholar to help with that effort.
There’s not too much revered historical text to live up to when it comes to Del Toro’s “Pacific Rim,” which is set to go before cameras later this year. The project, written by Travis Beacham, is about giant robots and giant monsters, but the Mexican moviemaker declined to give away too many more details, saying the concept is “something we need to keep in secrecy.” He did add, though, that the film will be grounded in present-day reality, and moved on to introduce his actors — Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day — and mentioning Rinko Kikuchi (“Babel”), who was not present but will play the female lead in the movie. (Del Toro cast Day, he said, largely because of the actor’s performance on the cult TV comedy “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”)
Looking sunny himself in a blue cabana shirt, Oscar winner Jeff Bridges led the presentation for “Seventh Son,” in which he plays a grizzled witch hunter in search of an apprentice (Ben Barnes); actress Alicia Vikander, a self-described “huge fan” of fantasy and science fiction, also stars.
Bridges cited Bodrov’s “Mongol” as one of the reasons he was interested in working with the filmmaker, though he did say that despite a history of special-effects-intensive projects, he usually prefers to act the old-fashioned way. “I like to have costumes and sets… Now, actors wear dots all over their faces and they do everything in post,” Bridges said.
Eric Jul 22nd, 2011 Gallery, Out & About 0 Replies
I just updated the gallery with some more candids from 2011! There are a ton that I still have to add to the gallery. These candids are just from one of my sources. I have a couple more sources to check and hopefully they will all be in the gallery soon. Enjoy!
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 05-31-11 – At the French Open
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 06-03-11 – At the Stade Roland Garros
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 06-07-11 – Out with Friends
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 06-11-11 – At the Canadian F1 Grand Prix
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 06-11-11 – Out and About
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 06-16-11 – Out and About in New York
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 06-25-11 – At Toscana Restaurant
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 06-25-11 – Out and About
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 07-03-11 – At a Beach Party in Malibu
Eric Jul 22nd, 2011 Gallery, Out & About 0 Replies
I just updated the gallery with some more candids from 2011! I have 10 new sets for you guys and I have another 10 that I will be uploading in a little bit. Enjoy!
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 04-03-11 – Arriving in Copenhagen Denmark
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 04-12-11 – Leaving His Hotel
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 04-19-11 – New Orleans Hornets v Los Angeles Lakers
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 04-21-11 – Boarding A Plane To Cabo
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 05-02-11 – At His Hotel
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 05-02-11 – Heading the Met Gala
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 05-02-11 – Out in New York
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 05-03-11 – Out and About in New York
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 05-29-11 – At the French Open
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011 > 05-30-11 – Leaving NRJ Studio in Paris
Eric Jul 22nd, 2011 Gallery, Out & About 2 Replies
I have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to the candids section of the gallery. I am missing 2010 and 2011 candids. So I’ll slowly be uploading those to the gallery. For right now, I’m just starting with 2011 then I will work my way back. I just uploaded some candids from the beginning of the year. The rest will be added in a little bit. Enjoy!
Candid Photos > Candids from 2011
Eric Jul 22nd, 2011 News, Paradise Lost 0 Replies
“Paradise Lost”, John Milton’s epic poem about Lucifer’s fall from grace and the corruption of Adam & Eve, is gearing up for a movie adaptation, under the helm of Alex Proyas (“I, Robot”). Now, Warner Bros., the studio behind the movie, has confirmed that the movie is set to be released in the end of 2013.
The movie is planned as an action epic focused on the war between Lucifer’s forces and the angels led by Michael for control of Paradise, with many aerial battles, and will be filmed using the same motion-capture technology from “Avatar”, in addition to being rumored to be filmed in 3D. So far, the only actor confirmed to appear is Bradley Cooper (“The Hangover”), who’ll be playing Lucifer.
Eric Jul 22nd, 2011 News, Rumors, The Hangover 3 0 Replies
Bradley Cooper is in San Diego drumming up support and buzz for the recently announced “Paradise Lost” adaptation he’s going to do with director Alex Proyas (“Dark City”). But while talking to press, he might have dropped a serious hint at the direction of the third “Hangover” (should that sequel actually happen).
Cooper was questioned by EW about Zach Galifianakis’ comments that the next “Hangover” might involve Cooper, Justin Bartha and Ed Helms breaking the deranged Alan out of a mental institute.
“You know what? That might be right,” Cooper said.
When pressed on the comment – because many thought Galifianakis tossed it out there just to throw nagging journalists down a different road – Cooper hedged by saying, “I mean, I have no idea. But that sounds good!”
And you know what? It does sound good. It would be a separation from the wake-up-hungover formula that powered Todd Phillips’ first two comedies to box office superstardom. And given the success of “The Hangover Part II,” you know a third one will happen. I’m thrilled Phillips wants to go down a new avenue, and if Cooper’s right, that idea could work very well.
Eric Jul 22nd, 2011 News, Paradise Lost, The Hangover 3 0 Replies
Between the surprise No. 1 opening of the thriller Limitless, in which he played as a burned out writer who becomes a super genius thanks to an experimental drug, the gargantuan success of The Hangover Part II, and that viral clip showing him doing an interview in fluent French, Bradley Cooper’s career has gone into overdrive this year. On Friday, Cooper will take the stage at Comic-Con to start stoking buzz among the nerderati for Paradise Lost, director Alex Proyas’ big-budget, effects-driven adaptation of John Milton’s 17th-century epic poem, in which he will play Satan. Limitless hit DVD shelves on Tuesday, complete with an alternate ending (“the original ending was that alternate ending,” Cooper reveals, “but I like the ending that was in the movie theaters—I think it changes the whole movie”) and an unrated extended cut (“the script was much more profane—there are a lot more f—s, some nudity, and some more blood,” he says). While talking to EW to tout the DVD release, Cooper also shared some thoughts about the prospect of playing Satan, shot down reports he’ll star in Doug Liman’s sci-fi film Luna, and — maybe — dropped a hint about the plot of The Hangover Part III.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So did Paradise Lost fall into your lap after all the success you’ve had this year?
BRADLEY COOPER: The absolute opposite of falling into my lap. I must have met with the director five times. I’d been vying for that role for three years. And then I actually put myself on tape unsolicited in my kitchen, just so he’d look at it. [Laughs] Not much has changed.
Alex Proyas has done big sci-fi films like I Robot and Dark City. So is this sort of a sci-fi take on Milton’s poem?
It’s not a sci-fi take on Paradise Lost — it is Paradise Lost. It’s a cinematic adaptation of Milton’s poem with motion capture. That technology is evolving exponentially by the minute, so where they were when they did Avatar as opposed to where they are now is almost different worlds. I just did the whole fitting for the motion-capture helmet that you wear, and we start shooting at the end of October in Sydney, Australia. I’m very excited.
So what appealed to you about playing Lucifer?
I loved studying that poem at Georgetown. I just fell in love with that character. Satan is kind of the guy you agree with — I don’t know if you agree with him, but you understand his argument and he’s very compelling. Hopefully we’ll be able to maintain the integrity of that.
What’s your Lucifer going to look like onscreen?
I think he’s going to look like me. I don’t know what that says about how satanic I look but, yes, it will be me. [Laughs]
It’s also been reported you’re attached to director Doug Liman’s sci-fi film Luna. Is that right?
No, that’s an IMDB creation. It’s like The Flash — I read I was going to be in The Flash and I called my agent and he was like, “No, bro, you’re not going to be in The Flash.” [Laughs]
Then there’s the rumored remake of The Crow you’re supposedly going to star in. What’s the status of that?
I don’t know the status of that. It’s something I really loved, but we’ll see about that.
And where do things stand with The Hangover Part III?
Whenever Todd [Phillips] says, I’m in.
Zach Galifianakis said in an interview recently that the plot may have to do with his character, Alan, being in a mental hospital and the rest of the Wolfpack breaking him out.
You know what? That might be right.
Really? A lot of people assumed that he was joking, and Warner Bros. has said there are no real plans for the movie yet.
I mean, I have no idea. But that sounds good. [Laughs]