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Bradley Cooper Wants to Write and Direct an Adaptation of ‘Paradise Lost’

Bradley Cooper. Actor. Director. Satan? That last is a big maybe, but it’s not completely impossible. In a conversation with Mahershala Ali for Variety, Cooper opened up about his interest in helming a big screen adaptation of Paradise Lost, Milton’s famed poem about how hard it is to be in hell.

Cooper was telling Ali about the auditioning game, when actors read for a part. Obviously, actors at Cooper’s level aren’t auditioning much anymore. Hollywood comes to them instead. But in the conversation, Cooper noted that the last time he auditioned for a role was Paradise Lost — a role he got, but the project fell apart before he could perform it. Now, he says, he’s anxious to get it up and running himself. As he says:

Last time I auditioned was “Paradise Lost.” I put myself on tape with my buddy Wes to play Satan, and we were going to do it. This was 2012, I think. And I got the role. I was so happy. It wound up not coming together. Just recently, I thought maybe after “Maestro” I’d want to try to write and direct a version of “Paradise Lost.” Adapted from Milton’s poem.

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Cooper is coming off a star turn in Nightmare Alley, a scene-stealing role in Licorice Pizza and wrapping Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3, so the guy isn’t hurting for roles. But he hasn’t gotten back behind the camera since his Oscar-nominated work in A Star Is Born, so surely he’s itching to do more filmmaking. Better to reign on set than serve on camera, after all.

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