Comic 'American Jesus' eyed for film

Helmer Matthew Vaughn in talks with creator Mark Millar

Fresh off their collaboration on "Kick-Ass," filmmaker Matthew Vaughn and comics creator Mark Millar are in talks to reteam for another comic-book adaptation.

Vaughn is eyeing Millar's "American Jesus" as his next directing vehicle, which would be produced by Vaughn and his Marv Films partner Kris Thykier and financed independently in the same manner as "Kick-Ass."

The story centers on the return of Christ in the modern world, leading to a final confrontation with the Antichrist in a bid to save humanity.

The book, made with artist Peter Gross, originally appeared as a three-issue miniseries in 2006 with the title "Chosen." When Millar, one of the top writers in the comics field, decided to continue the story as a trilogy of miniseries, the overarching title became "American Jesus." The second installment is subtitled "The Resurrection" and is due out in the fall.

A summer start is being posited, though Vaughn also is developing another project with Millar, a still-in-the-works actioner. Millar, while also writing such titles as "Wolverine" and "Ultimate X-Men," has written creator-owned comics that have caught Hollywood's fancy, including last year's summer hit "Wanted." He also has "War Heroes" set up at Columbia.

"Kick-Ass," which adapts Millar's miniseries about a 16-year-old who decides to become a superhero, stars Nicolas Cage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Aaron Johnson; the movie is in postproduction. Vaughn made the film outside the studio system because of its depiction of teens and children in ultraviolent situations.

"Jesus," with its hot-button Christ-in-sneakers angle, seems like a candidate to benefit similarly from less interference.

Vaughn is repped by Endeavor and Brillstein Entertainment Partners; Millar is repped by CAA and Harris Miller.

Marv Films, which is in production on "The Debt," starring Helen Mirren, had no comment.