Paradise Lost in Popular Culture - in Film

In Film

  • The film The Devil's Advocate makes references to the poem and its author. For example, the main antigonist, John Milton is named after the author, and in the finale of the film the main protagonist, Kevin Lomax makes a quotation: "It's better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven".
  • The first book of the Philip Pullman's trilogy of novels His Dark Materials, Northern Lights has been made into a film. But most of the Christian symbols of the books have been stripped, thus the inspiration from Paradise Lost has become less pronounced.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode Space Seed the character Khan alludes to Paradise Lost when he is banished from the Starship Enterprise and sent to another planet to colonize, implying he would rather rule the planet than serve alongside Captain Kirk.
  • Paradise Lost is referenced in a scene from the film Animal House, when Professor Jennings vainly attempts to interest his freshman English class in the themes of the poem, particularly those involving Satan. Not only does his class express no interest in either the poem or what the professor has to say about it, but in an ironical moment, the professor himself admits that he finds Milton agonizing to read as well as to teach, which complements his admission later in the film that he is only in the teaching business "to make ends meet until (he) can finish his novel."
  • In the 1995 film Seven, Detective Somerset, the more cerebral of the two protagonist Detectives, suspects that Paradise Lost and other works of the early medieval Canon may have inspired the murders that are the centerpiece of the film's plot .
  • The film Kamen Rider 555: Paradise Lost references the poem by having Faiz being a savior, who will come back to life and bring peace to the world.
  • T-Bird, a character from the 1994 thriller film The Crow reads the line from an actual antique copy of the book, "Abashed the devil stood, and felt how awful goodness is."
  • Paradise Lost was scheduled to be made into an action film in 2012, directed by Alex Proyas and slated for release sometime in 2013. Bradley Cooper was cast as Lucifer in July, 2011 and Benjamin Walker was cast as Michael in August. Djimon Hounsou joined the cast as Abdiel and Casey Affleck as Gabriel. Filming was originally scheduled to shoot in Sydney, Australia in January 2012, but production was put on hold in December 2011. The film however was scrapped in early February 2012.
  • In the 2000 film Animal Factory, Willem Dafoe's character Earl quotes Satan, saying "This is my prison, after all." The last line of the film is "Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven, right?"

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