LATEST: THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST star Jim Caviezel is ready to sign a deal to star as Superman in the long-awaited new films.

The hunky actor - who movingly portrayed JESUS in Mel Gibson's controversial epic - is said to be very close to an agreement with studio Warner BROS. despite his agent's recent insistence the part had not yet been offered to him.

Big name stars such as Jude Law, Josh Hartnett and Brendan Fraser have already been offered, and turned down, the role.

However, according to respected comic book author MARK MILLER, Caviezel's participation is all but guaranteed.

He writes, "You remember I told you to relax about 'Superman?' That a very, very trusted and experienced director we'd all love was coming over? That everything would be fine? Well, my same good buddy has informed me that Jim Caviezel is officially the new man of

steel and what a perfect choice he is. Expect an announcement shortly."

01/09/2004 13:27