American Jesus – For more than a decade, comic book adaptations have been Hollywood’s most lucrative source of revenue.
For casual movie-goers, any mention of a comic book adaptation instantly brings Marvel or DC to mind.
However, independent stories have been around for as long as the two comic giants.
For example, the likes of Wanted, Kingsman, and Kick-Ass have gained a mainstream following, but not many realize they were all taken from the pages of a graphic novel – and the same author no less: Mark Millar.
Millar’s work is about to get another adaptation with one of his most underrated stories to date – American Jesus.
American Jesus, originally titled Chosen, is one of Mark Millar’s most exciting and controversial works.
Working with artist Peter Gross, they published the first volume of the comic in 2004 under Dark Horse comics.
The three-chapter graphic novel focuses on a twelve-year-old boy who walks away from an accident unscathed.
He then realizes he is the returned Jesus Christ, turning water into wine, healing the sick, and raising the dead.
However, the second coming of Chris is also the impending and inevitable apocalypse.
The comic book series would later be re-released under the now-popular title American Jesus.
While it took 15 years, Millar finally followed up with a sequel series titled American Jesus: The New Messiah and later American Jesus Revelation.
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Mark Millar is no stranger to big studios adapting his works.
He has already seen his independent works hit the big screen and a few Marvel films (Logan was based on his Old Man Logan comic).
American Jesus was a project that had long been slated to hit the screens.
Netflix picked it up after the streaming giant bought his Millarworld imprint in 2017.
The series has been in production for some time now.
Rather than take a faithful adaptation of American Jesus, Netflix, presumably with Millar’s blessing, decided to take a few liberties with the series.
A year after the acquisition of Millarworld, the first roster of adaptations was announced, with American Jesus among the top titles.
“Multilingual (Spanish/English) series American Jesus follows a twelve-year-old boy who suddenly discovers he’s returned as Jesus Chris,” the announcement wrote.
“He can turn water into wine, make the crippled walk, and, perhaps, even raise the dead. How will he deal with the destiny to lead the world in a conflict thousands of years in the making?”
It should be noted that the Netflix show will be named The Chosen One (El Elegido in Spanish), which is not to be confused with the Netflix Brazilian thriller series of the same name.
The Chosen One is directed by Everardo Gout, who helmed the classic horror-thriller The Purge.
Gout is joined by his brother Leopoldo, who helped write and produce the series.
In 2021, Mark Millar shared a positive update on the production, saying:
“The development for ‘American Jesus’ is coming along beautifully in the talented and capable hands of Everardo Gout and Leopoldo Gout.”
“I’m blown away by the creative choices that Netflix has allowed us, and particularly since this series will feature Spanish and English dialogue.”
The Chosen One
In 2012, author Mark Millar shared that development had begun on an adaptation of American Jesus, but it was initially pitched as a movie.
“Unusually for me, it’s a little more quiet and a little more considered,” he said when asked if it was leaning towards either horror or epic fantasy.
“The sequels are like that, too.”
According to Millar, The Chosen One is a horror story with elements of a coming-of-age story.
“[It] has a Stand by Me vibe, a kid like you or I who likes Star Wars, video games, and girls in his class suddenly finding out he has a tremendous destiny.”
“This is going to be an absolute beauty.”
The first look for The Chosen One emerged hours ago with a poster showing the protagonist looking at a power line shaped like a cross.
The Chosen One features Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s Tenoch Huerta and Glee’s Dianna Agron.
Millarworld also revealed the premise of the show:
“A little kid finds out that the reason his mother disappeared with him and they’re hiding out in a small town is because he’s the returned Jesus Christ and they’re doing everything they can to stay alive so he can grow up and face the Antichrist in the City of Megiddo as per the biblical prophecy.”