Sydneysiders looking forward to having Bradley Cooper as a neighbour will be sadly disappointed.
According to entertainment news website Variety, Legendary Pictures has “officially pulled the plug” on Cooper’s movie Paradise Lost, which was set to film in Australia.
It said budget issues were the reason behind the announcement.
Australia’s Alex Proyas, who directed I, Robot and The Crow, was set to helm Paradise Lost – his film adaptation of John Milton’s 17th-century poem.
Proyas said in July last year that the movie, which was slated for a 2013 release, had a budget in excess of $100 million.
Variety’s report revealed people close to the production had said Proyas had a strong vision for Legendary, but the technology wasn’t up to scratch yet and the filmmakers couldn’t reduce the budget enough.
Cooper was set to play the role of Lucifer and just this month, News Ltd papers had said the 37-year-old star would take up Sydney residency for three months.
The movie was also set to star Casey Affleck, Dominic Purcell and Aussie Callan McAuliffe, with the majority of filming at Sydney’s Fox Studios.
Proyas had said a lot of it would be “created on computer, on sound stages”, as the main locations would have been Heaven, Hell and Eden.
The NSW government, who called the movie a “major coup” for the state last year, said it was a huge disappointment for the filmmakers, cast and crew.
“This is a blow to the NSW film industry,” Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner said in a statement on Friday.
The movie was predicted to bring $88 million to the state and create 1300 jobs, and it was lured to Sydney with financial incentives from the state government.
The NSW government had not yet spent any money on Paradise Lost when Legendary pulled the plug.
Mr Stoner said the government is still committed to attracting international projects and they are in negotiations with major studios for other future projects.
“We will continue to take a proactive approach to marketing the States talent and facilities, especially in light of the high Australian dollar,” he said.
He said production had already begun at Fox Studios Australia on a Warner Bros animated film about children’s toy Lego, which is being made by Oscar-winning Sydney animation studio Animal Logic.