Legendary Pulls Plug on Bradley Cooper's 'Paradise Lost'

Bradley Cooper
<p> Let&#39;s just say when it comes to &quot;Wet Hot Amerian Summer,&quot; &quot;The Midnight Meat Train&quot; and &quot;The A-Team,&quot; the Academy had a blackout.</p>   |   Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
The company scraps plans to bring the classic poem to the big screen with the "Hangover" actor in the leading role.

Paradise Lost, Legendary Pictures' big-budget, special effects-laden take on the John Milton classic poem, has been shut down.

The movie was to have been directed by Alex Proyas and to have starred Bradley Cooper as Lucifer. The rest of the cast included Djimon Hounsou, Casey Affleck, Benjamin Walker, Camilla Belle and Rufus Sewell.

The project couldn’t overcome, according to sources, two hand-in-hand challenges: budget and special effects. The budget was more than $120 million and was responsible for one postponement already.

Legendary has been looking to make more movies on its own and away from the slate-financing business that had been its bread and butter. The company is in production on Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim and is developing the supernatural fantasy Seventh Son. But Legendary is realizing it needs to be more fiscally prudent in the movies it greenlights.

Legendary also realized that in order to effectively bring to life Milton’s war between heaven and hell, it was going to need Avatar-like special effects. But Avatar-like effects call for an an Avatar-like budget, and execs realized the technology wasn’t there to make the movie in the budget range in which they were working.

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