Virgin Comics locks up Cage

Cage spirited into 'Sadhu'

Virgin Comics, the publishing company bankrolled by Richard Branson, is adapting “The Sadhu” for the bigscreen as a starring vehicle for Nicolas Cage.

The script will be written by spiritual author and Virgin Comics co-founder Deepak Chopra.

“The Sadhu,” created and written by Chopra’s son, Gotham, chief creative officer of Virgin Comics, melds action with mythology from India. Cage will play James Jenson, a soldier who travels to India during colonial times and becomes a spiritual warrior.

Norm Golightly, Cage’s Saturn Pictures partner, will produce with Gotham Chopra and Virgin Comics CEO Sharad Devarajan.

” ‘The Sadhu’ is a bold, visual epic that taps into one of India’s most heralded spiritual traditions,” Devarajan said.

Cage, an unabashed comics fan who’ll star next year in the Mark Steven Johnson-directed Marvel Comics adaptation “Ghost Rider” for Columbia Pictures, also has made a deal with Virgin Comics to publish “Enigma,” a voodoo-laced thriller Cage hatched with his 15-year-old son, Weston. They are eyeing that, too, as a potential feature.

“Enigma” revolves around a murder investigation in New Orleans, with a detective discovering the killings are directly related to the events of a fiery rebellion on a Southern plantation during the Confederacy. The comic will be published as a five-part monthly series beginning in March.

“Weston has always been a huge inspiration to me,” Cage said. “His creativity is fresh, original and on the pulse of what is happening now. In a world which needs more spiritually minded superheroes, Weston’s Enigma emerges.”

Branson teamed earlier this year to hatch Virgin Comics with Chopra and director Shekhar Kapur. It has a studio based in Bangalore, India, where a staff of 100 artists and writers turn out comics and graphic novels on subjects ranging from adventures that meld the mythologies of Asia to action vehicles created by the likes of John Woo and Guy Ritchie.

Virgin Comics will have eight titles in the marketplace by year’s end.

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