Most of Paradise Lost, the 17th century epic poem about the war between heaven and hell, was actually not physically written by John Milton. By the time the writer was 52 he was completely blind and the poem was actually transcribed while he spoke. One can only imagine what Milton was picturing in his mind's eye as he crafted the biblical tale, but if Abdiel, the angel of death, looked at least a bit like Djimon Hounsou, then Alex Proyas' casting is inspired.

Variety reports that the Blood Diamond actor has officially signed on to play the heavenly character in Proyas' adaptation. The film already stars Bradley Cooper as Lucifer and Benjamin Walker as the Archangel Michael. Previous reports have said that the film will be very action heavy, Proyas saying that "cutting-edge visual effects that will make [the movie's] battles resemble 300 meets Lord of the Rings -- but with winged warriors." The film will also feature the creation of Adam and Eve as well as their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. While Ryan Condal is the most recent writer to have worked on the script, the project has been in multiple hands, including Stuart Hazeldine, Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi, and Lawrence Kasdan. Production is scheduled to kick off in early 2012.

Abdiel is actually a fairly important character in the original poem as he denounces Satan when he learns of his plans for revolution and tells God of the plans (though they are already preparing for war when he gets there. Abdiel also tallies a rather significant body count during the battle - with some very important names - but that was probably expected considering he's the angel of death. I'm still not entirely sure how they plan on pulling this movie off without a year-long production schedule, but at the very least it should be an interesting development process.

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