Scott Derrickson established himself in the 2000s as a successful screenwriter and director of horror fare; he used that controversial genre to examine the struggle between good and evil and to explore the possible existence of a supernatural realm. A graduate of Biola University, Derrickson attended the University of Southern California film school and received his premier screen credit by helming the direct-to-video sequel Hellraiser: Inferno and the slasher outing Urban Legends: The Final Cut. The 2005 horror outing The Exorcism of Emily Rose, however, brought Derrickson his first serious attention as a craftsperson of mainstream horror fare. The tale of a young woman who develops symptoms of demonic possession but dies in mid-exorcism (prompting criminal charges against her parents), it emerged under the directorial imprimatur of Derrickson, from a script co-authored by Derrickson and Paul Harris Boardman. A contemplative and reflective piece, it far outstripped the financial expectations of its studio, clocking in as the third-highest September opening of all time and thus paving the way for loftier and more lucrative screen assignments for Derrickson. In 2008, he helmed the remake of Robert Wise's The Day the Earth Stood Still at about the same time he signed to helm one of his dream projects: a cinematization of John Milton's 17th century poem "Paradise Lost," about the temporal parallels between mankind's fall from grace in the Garden of Eden and Satan's attempted mutiny in Heaven.