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‘Paradise’ revisited

Legendary brings Milton poem to bigscreen

Legendary Pictures is developing a live-action film version of “Paradise Lost,” John Milton’s epic poem, with Scott Derrickson attached to direct.

Vincent Newman, producer of “A Man Apart” and “We’re the Millers” for New Line, will produce along with Legendary.

“Paradise Lost,” published in 1667, tells the story of Lucifer’s failed rebellion in heaven and subsequent role in Adam and Eve’s fall from grace.

Legendary, backed by private investment money, is co-financing and co-producing several high-profile Warner Bros. films, including “Superman Returns,” “Lady in the Water” and “10,000 B.C.” It formed a partnership with the studio last year to co-produce and co-finance at least 25 pics over a five-year period; a first-look distribution deal is included.

“It has always been a key part of our mission at Legendary Pictures to develop and bring to the screen dynamic and compelling stories” said chairman-CEO Thomas Tull.

Phil DiBlasi and Byron Willinger did the adaptation of “Paradise Lost.” Stuart Hazeldine (“Battle

Chasers”) will work on the development process with Derrickson (who directed and co-wrote “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”) and take on additional writing duties. Derrickson studied theology as a college undergrad.

Newman acquired rights to “Paradise Lost” and brought the project last year to Hyde Park, where it was set up. In January, Jon Jashni ankled as president of Hyde Park to take the top creative post at Legendary.

“Paradise Lost” has a “timeless theme along with an inherently powerful and visual dramatic story,” Jashni said. “We are excited by the challenge of going back to the source material.”

Tull told Daily Variety there’s no timetable set, adding, “Given the gravity of the source material, it’s really important to get it right. It will be ready when it’s ready.”

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