Djimon Hounsou Cast As The Angel Of Death In 'Paradise Lost'

I talked about the very serious film Paradise Lost earlier today — the documentary about the just-freed West Memphis Three. But there's that other Paradise Lost being developed by Legendary Pictures and director Alex Proyas. That's the very loose adaptation of the epic poem by Milton that chronicles the break between Lucifer and Heaven. The film will be a largely mocapped, CGI affair with Bradley Cooper playing Lucifer and Benjamin Walker playing the archangel Michael. And now they'll be joined by Djimon Hounsou as Abdiel, the angel of death.

Abdiel is one of the key figures in Paradise Lost — simplified, he's the angel who tries to warn God of Satan's defection and rebellion, but finds that the big guy is already prepping his forces for battle. Abdiel is then a key part of the three days of battle that follow. Recounting what we've heard before, there will be three major battles in the film, in Heaven, Hell and Eden. Alex Proyas explained,

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. That is the scope of the narrative here, and we've tried to say as faithful as possible to Milton's text, particularly its focus on Lucifer's evolution and the birth of evil. It's a family saga, about a group of brothers, two in particular, who are on divergent paths, and Lucifer's feelings of betrayal by his father and family that forge his descent into evil.

Paradise Lost has had a host of writers working on the script: Byron Willinger and Philip de Blasi wrote an early draft; Stuart Hazeldine developed that draft and then Lawrence Kasdan and Ryan Condal did polish work.

The film will shoot in Austalia, with over a year of post-production planned to augment the live-action photography with extensive digital animation. The film is scheduled for release at some point in late 2013 from Warner Bros. Here's the official line on the story, and you can get more info from our Comic Con coverage:

Lucifer and Michael, God's greatest archangels, share the bond of extraordinary friendship until God produces his greatest creation: Man. Unable to remain subservient to God if it means bowing down to humanity, Lucifer begins his dark descent and is cast out – only to plot his revenge.