Over 300 years after its publication, John Milton’s Paradise Lost will be coming to a theater near you in 2007. No director or actors have been chosen for the project, but since there’s not a single part in the story that Tom Hanks would be perfect for, they’ll probably cast him as Satan. Forrest Gump: Prince of Darkness. I can see it now.
And now that I’ve gotten the requisite Tom Hanks commentary out of the way, I have to say that I find this whole idea to be a little bit… wrong. Though Milton’s epic could certainly lend itself to a fascinating screen treatment, I can’t help but think that Hollywood’s handling of epic material is somewhat, um, embarrassingly bad. You did see Troy, right? Admittedly, I love Paradise Lost and so I feel irrationally protective of it, but I don’t know if I trust Hollywood with theodicy. The article about this says that producers will aim to be faithful to Milton’s poem, but then, it also says that it has stunning depictions of angels falling from Hell, which is definitely not how that part of the story goes, so I don’t know if it’s to be trusted. I feel scared. Hold me.
Anyway, is this going to be another one of those books Hollywood should’ve left alone? Or do you think it will open the world of Milton’s classic to people who might never sit down with the poem?