Waypoint Entertainment announced today that it has acquired the movie rights to two comics written by Mark Millar — one of which, called American Jesus, concerns a 12-year-old boy who realizes that he is the Second Coming of Christ.
Millar — who wrote the stories that Wanted, Kick-Ass, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Captain America: Civil War are based on — has been trying to make a film version of American Jesus for some time now. In fact, I first wrote about his efforts to make the film back in 2009, and followed it up with another post in 2010.
On the latter occasion, Millar talked about how the story’s subject matter made some studio executives so nervous that they made some ridiculous suggestions:
“People were sniffing around ‘American Jesus’ and everybody wanted to do it, but they were really nervous about the subject matter,” continued Millar. “And genuinely, somebody [said] to me ‘Is there anyway we can do ‘American Jesus’, but maybe take Jesus out of it?’”
“I loved that,” laughed Millar. “It had to be the most brilliantly Hollywood thing I’ve ever heard [because] Jesus is in every scene in that book and its about the second coming. And they were saying ‘can we make it some kind of analogy of Jesus? Or maybe call him David?’ I was like ‘No, it’s got to be ‘American Jesus.” They said ‘ I just don’t know if anybody would go and see a movie with Jesus in it.’ And I [said] ‘Well, ‘The Passion’ made $650 million!’”
Millar seems happy with Waypoint, though. Regarding the production company — which is also behind Terrence Malick’s newest films and Martin Scorsese’s upcoming adaptation of Silence — he said: “Peter Gross and I have held ‘American Jesus’ back for a decade until the right team came along. This really is that team!”
Note: Millar’s film is not to be confused with the 2013 documentary of this name: