Proyas looks to have found the archangel Michael.

Benjamin Walker (‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’) is in negotiations to play the archangel Michael opposite Bradley Cooper’s Lucifer in Alex Proyas’s adaptation of ‘Paradise Lost.’

Inspired by the 1667 poem by English poet John Milton, the fantasy epic follows the epic war in heaven between archangels Michael and Lucifer. Talking to Deadline, Proyas (‘I Robot,’ ‘Dark City,’ ‘The Crow’) acknowledges that the adaptation is a daunting challenge:

“It’s not just armies battling in an epic war. This is an adventure about the origins of good and evil after Lucifer’s rebellion gets him cast out of Heaven and leads to a struggle with his brother archangel over the soul of mankind, starting with Adam and Eve. That is the scope of the narrative here, and we’ve tried to say as faithful as possible to Milton’s text, particularly its focus on Lucifer’s evolution and the birth of evil. It’s a family saga, about a group of brothers, two in particular, who are on divergent paths, and Lucifer’s feelings of betrayal by his father and family that forge his descent into evil.”

“I’ve sometimes thought that only an insane person would want to make this movie, because it’s visually audacious and has to live up to a classic poem that is so beloved.”

“I don’t think the visuals could have been done justice until now, which is the great fun of being a film director in this modern age of visual effects. Despite all those possibilities, the characters are what’s most important. His deal isn’t closed yet, but I think there’s a wonderful duality about Ben’s persona, this combination of great strength and perfect innocence that works so well for Michael. And Bradley is the most charming guy you’ll ever meet, with this extraordinary charisma. Lucifer was the brightest and smartest of the archangels, and even as he descended into evil and evolved into Satan, he’s not just some black-and-white villain. Bradley brings extraordinary depth to that journey.”