Never mind religion in Battlestar Galactica - is Christianity becoming the new trend for genre entertainment? While NBC's Kings retells the story of King David, American Jesus brings Jesus back for a whole new audience.
American Jesus is the new official title for the comic trilogy from Wanted and Kick Ass creator Mark Millar, which started with 2005's Chosen (re-released this week by Image Comics). It was announced yesterday, as probably the next movie from Kick Ass director Matthew Vaughan. Millar explained the origin of his story to Newsarama.com:
When I was a kid, I read the Bible like everyone else, and I sort of hoped that the ending would happen in my lifetime. The Book of Revelation is just really cool – all the old stuff with the sandals just sounded less exciting than the returning Jesus versus the Beast at the end of time. I think everyone who reads it kind of assumes that it's going to happen in their lifetime, so just as a kid, it sounded great. So the idea has been percolating in me for a long time, and has actually appeared in a couple of projects that I've done over the years... As a kid, I remember watching a copy of The Final Conflict – the last Omen movie - and being so upset that it wasn't the big fight with Jesus. But back then, I suppose it would be too controversial to do something like that. But now, luckily we're in these crazy times where you can get away with anything, so God versus Satan gets a telling in American Jesus.
Of course, "everyone else" didn't read the Bible as a kid, despite what Mark thinks; Kings creator Michael Green, for one, said that his upbringing was "not very religious," despite being taught by rabbis in yeshiva. But is a religious upbringing the only thing behind these two high-profile Biblical genre stories? We're not convinced, and wonder if there's not some cynical grab for the Left Behind mass audience going on. It's something that Millar, at least, is open to:
I'd be comfortable with that, actually. I was going through the states a few months back, and all the places everyone said I would hate – all the flyover states – they were the ones that I liked the best. I mean, I'm a left-leaning Scot, and I'm comfortable with conservative Americans. I think America, especially during the Bush years, and even now, sees itself split into two groups, and I feel comfortable in both of them. The Left Behind audience is an audience that I understand because they embrace material that I'm interested in, so if they pick up the book, great.
The new culture wars may be about to invade your SF viewing pleasures. Be prepared.
Comic 'American Jesus' eyed for film [Hollywood Reporter]