Are you ready for Bradley Cooper, screenwriter? We know him as an actor, but evidently he has screenwriting aspirations. And he’s looking to come out of the gate with a particularly ambitious project: an adaptation of the long-in-development novel Hyperion, by Dan Simmons.

We haven’t reported any real movement on this project in a long time. Producer Graham King owns the rights and once had Trevor Sands working on a screenplay. We don’t know how that worked out, but the fact that we haven’t seen a film or heard anything in some time suggests that it did not work out tremendously well.

So, while appearing on Charlie Rose this week, Bradley Cooper said that he and a friend wrote a treatment for Hyperion on spec, and took it to Graham King. He says they’re now negotiating to write a script for the film. He says “ideally I’d like to direct it, but there’s no way.” This deal isn’t done by any means, but he ends with “at least we have the chance to write the script for Hyperion.” (The comments start in this interview segment, at around 18:30.)

I have no idea how this might work out. I know nothing about how Bradley Cooper view Hyperion, and there is no indication about what direction the script might take. The novel is a tricky prospect: the stories of six pilgrims as they travel towards a rendezvous and possible redemption at the hands of a mysterious cult icon and killing machine called the Shrike. The setting in each tale ranges across the far corners of a universe united by teleportation technology. It’s big stuff from a budget and design perspective, and very tricky stuff from the perspective of capturing characters and really developing the ideas behind each story. I don’t know how anyone would properly put it into a single film, or even two.

That Charlie Rose interview with Bradley Cooper is pretty solid as a whole. He’s a good interview subject; just watching this you can see why he keeps working as much as he has been in the past couple years. He’s just great in the room. He also says that he’s still hoping to do Paradise Lost and then The Crow, which might be followed by a turn on stage in The Elephant Man. (He wants to play Frederick Treves, the doctor who works with John [nee Joseph] Merrick. ) He talks about his process trying to get the chance to play Lucifer in Paradise Lost, too, and that might help change your mind about his suitability for the role. [via CHUD]

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