Fresh off his Best Horror Film of 2005 win for THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE at the 32nd Annual Saturn Awards, held the other night in Universal City, California, director Scott Derrickson chatted a bit with Fango about his next project: an adaptation of PARADISE LOST, John Milton’s 12-book poem describing Satan’s war against God and his influence in the corruption of Adam and Eve. An announcement concerning Derrickson’s involvement, along with scribe Stuart Hazeldine and producer Vincent Newman, arrived last month. The trio will develop the film for Legendary Pictures (SUPERMAN RETURNS).
Derrickson recognizes the care that needs to be taken and the potential that lies within the material; he’s also fully aware that it’s a daunting and delicate task that will take a little time to bring to the screen. “There’s still work to be done on the script,” Derrickson tells Fango. “Stu has done a lot of work for Alex Proyas and is a good friend of mine; I’m a big admirer of his writing. More than anything else, I’m very excited about trying to create a world that is epic in regards to angels and demons and heaven and hell, and do it in some way that’s original and hasn’t been done.”
Joining the conceptual team is none other than artist Wayne Barlowe, whose book BARLOWE’S INFERNO has given readers a nightmarish and fascinating look at hell. Derrickson is just one of a handful of directors to use Barlowe during the early stages of preproduction on their films: The painter/illustrator has also lent designs on a number of Hollywood projects, notably Guillermo del Toro’s BLADE II and HELLBOY. “One of the first things I did was to go after Stuart and Wayne; I liked Stuart’s writing skills and Wayne’s visual skills,” the director says. “INFERNO was the reason I was so passionate about trying to get Wayne involved, and I knew that if PARADISE LOST was going to work, it’d have to have that kind of visual imagination.”