Mark Millar’s Nemesis: The Next Big Thing … with Sam Raimi?

Let’s face it, when and if Mark Millar’s “Kick Ass” makes a splash at the box office, Hollywood producers will be poisoning each other to try to snatch up the film rights to his new comic book, the still-unpublished “Nemesis”. And why wouldn’t they? The premise is simply killer, and from the looks of it, Millar and co-creator/artist Steve McNiven have their eyes set on making a comic book that can easily be translated onto the big screen, possibly with some pretty big names attached as director. So what’s it all about?

Imagine if the Joker was also Batman, and instead of Batman and Commissioner Gordon being buddies, they were arch-enemies? That’s the plot of Millar’s “Nemesis”, which posits a billionaire who moonlights as a supervillain. Basically, The Joker with all of Batman’s wealth and gadgets. Our bad guy also has a bit of a nasty streak, and he gets off on choosing one cop to torture, basically mind-f–k for a period of time, before he finally kills him. The bad guy’s latest target: America’s greatest cop. WHO YA GOT???

So, that’s the premise of “Nemesis”. Millar and McNiven talked to CBR about the character last year:

“Nemesis” is a reversal of the Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark archetype. What if this genius billionaire was just this total shit, and the only thing that stood between him and a city was the cops? It’s Batman versus Commissioner Gordon, in a weird way. Or maybe a super-villain version of “Se7en.” A billionaire anarchist up against ordinary people. The Joker’s the best thing in the Batman movies, so this guy is a bit of an amalgamation of all the stuff we like.

The first issue of “Nemesis” will be published March 2010 from Icon, a creator-own imprint from Marvel Comics, and the same imprint that Millar published his “Kick Ass” with John Romita Jr. The teaser poster for “Nemesis” below should tell you all you need to know about what a nasty little ditty this one’s gonna be.

So what’s Sam Raimi got to do with this? Well, when the first issue surfaces in March, Millar says the film rights will also be available, but only then. Of course, in Hollywood if you snooze you lose (your career, your second Malibu home, your trophy girlfriend, etc), and word is that Sam Raimi may be attached to direct “Nemesis” now that his “Spidey 4” has gone kaput.

Millar seemed to rebuff that rumor at his official message board Tuesday, saying that while a famous director did in fact inquire about the film rights, it was not Sam Raimi.

End of story? Not so fast. Millar made another post on Wednesday, writing:

RAIMI DIRECTING NEMESIS MIGHT NOT BE CRAZY AFTER ALL! Things move fast in Hollywoodland. I just woke up to some VERY unexpected emails… To be continued.

So yeah. Sam Raimi could possibly be directing “Nemesis”. Or maybe Guy Ritchie. Millar also threw Ritchie’s name in there later on in the thread just for good measure.