Two Actors From Netflix Millarworld Adaptation The Chosen One Killed After Crew Van Crashes

Two cast members have died and production has been halted on the Netflix series "The Chosen One," an adaptation of the Mark Millar and Peter Gross comic "American Jesus." The Associated Press (via News9 Live) reports that a van accident occurred on the Baja California Sur peninsula in Mexico, where the crew had been working in the city of Santa Rosalía. The van reportedly went off-road and flipped in a desert area on Thursday, June 16, 2022, leaving actors Raymundo Garduño Cruz and Juan Francisco González Aguilar dead, according to the Baja California Department of Culture.

Six other cast and crew members were injured in the crash, which occurred en route to the local airport, but Variety reports they are in stable condition. Aguilar was known professionally as "Paco Mufote" (per The Daily Beast), and friends have called for an investigation into the production's working conditions and the circumstances leading up to the accident.

"The Chosen One" is an example of a project that Netflix had outsourced to an independent production company, Redrum, leading some to suggest that there could have been a lack of oversight in how the production was handled. A spokesperson for SAG-AFTRA told Deadline that the labor union "has been in contact with Netflix and with the Mexican actors union ANDA about this incident and we are investigating the circumstances with local production."

Though the accident occurred off set, safety matters related to film and television productions have received increased scrutiny since the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins last October on the set of the Alec Baldwin film "Rust."

Background on The Chosen One

"The Chosen One" Netflix series was announced in 2018 as part of the same slate of Millarworld projects that included last year's short-lived "Jupiter's Legacy" series. It had a long road to the screen, with Dark Horse Comics publishing the original three-issue "Chosen" miniseries back in 2004. Image Comics subsequently collected the miniseries as "American Jesus, Vol. 1: Chosen."

The story, which follows a 12-year-old boy who discovers he's the returned Jesus Christ after a freak accident, ended on a cliffhanger. Vol. 2 was advertised in the back pages, and Millar told CBR it would be "about the adult Jesus in the modern day" coming up against "Americans who don't have that much in common with a 2,000-year-old Judean idea of what Christianity is." However, the planned Vol. 2 would not materialize until late 2019 when Image published the first issue of "American Jesus: The New Messiah."

On April 25, 2022, Millarworld posted an update on its verified Twitter account (by way of Bleeding Cool), saying, "The American Jesus Netflix series starts shooting today in Mexico." The future of the series is now uncertain following this fatal crash and the suspension of production, but it had been touted as a multilingual production in Spanish and English, with Everardo Gout and Leopoldo Gout serving as co-showrunners.