Legendary Pictures adaptation based on Milton's 17th-century poem

After helping launch “The Hangover” franchise, Legendary Pictures wants back in business with Bradley Cooper, who’s in early talks to play Lucifer in an adaptation of John Milton’s epic 17th-century poem “Paradise Lost.”

An official offer has yet to be made, but Cooper is eager to take the part and negotiations are expected to begin shortly. Reps forLegendary declined to comment.

Thesp’s involvement breathes new life into Alex Proyas’ adaptation of “Paradise Lost,” long in the works at Legendary. It’s also the latest fanboy-targeted tentpole to move forward at the blossoming production company, which is lensing “Wrath of the Titans” and “Jack the Giant Killer,” backing “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Man of Steel” and developing “Pacific Rim” with Guillermo del Toro as well as a “Godzilla” reboot.

“Paradise Lost” tells the story of the epic war in heaven between archangels Michael and Lucifer, including the latter’s role in Adam and Eve’s fall from grace. Pic will be crafted as an action vehicle that will include aerial warfare, possibly shot in 3D.

Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing with Vincent Newman (“We’re the Millers”), who has been developing the project for years at his Vincent Newman Entertainment banner.

Stuart Hazeldine developed the primary draft of the screenplay, originally written by Byron Willinger and Philip de Blasi. Lawrence Kasdan provided a polish as well as Ryan Condal, who delivered the most recent draft.

The film is expected to fall under Legendary’s co-production and co-financing agreement with Warner Bros., which will likely distribute the worldwide.

Cooper recently capitalized on the box office success of Relativity Media’s “Limitless” by entering negotiations to star in the studio’s reboot of 1994 cult classic “The Crow” (which, coincidentally, Proyas directed).

Cooper next stars in “The Hangover Part II,” which WB opens on May 26. Thesp is also attached to topline indie drama “The Words.” He’s repped by CAA.

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