Comic writer Mark Millar has made Superman a Soviet, introduced gay superheroes, and written that the Second Coming will be in America's Midwest.

But now Millar has pulled off one of the greatest coups in his career: convincing Angelina Jolie to appear in his first motion picture.

Jolie has signed up to appear in a £100m science fiction movie created by the Scottish writer, who lives and works in Glasgow.

Jolie is set to join Scottish actor James McAvoy, star of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Last King of Scotland, and take a leading role in Wanted, which begins shooting in April in Prague.

The actress will star as a leading assassin, called The Fox, in the film to be released next year, which is based on a comic series published three years ago.

He created the Wanted story as an "X-Men meets The Godfather" epic.

Millar has discussed the role with the star and will meet her next month when shooting begins on the film.

He said: "She was asking how I came up with the character and I said I just wanted to write about a girl who was completely lacking in any kind of morality, someone who never regarded the consequences. I think she's going to have a good time on this: actresses rarely get to play these fun kinds of characters."

He added: "Angelina's pretty much the biggest female star in the world right now and so I'm naturally quite pleased about the casting. The only way they could have got a bigger star to play this role is if they'd hired Tom Cruise in drag."

He added: "She's spectacular-looking and, as her Oscar proves, a great actress with real depth I think she's one of the few Hollywood A-listers who could pull this off. The rest of them are very tiny and dainty. Angelina looks like she could kick your head in."

McAvoy is to play the role of Wesley Gibson in the film, a "put-upon, white collar worker who finds out, after the murder of his father, that he has inherited his spot in an international league of assassins".

This league of killers, first detailed in comics published in 2003 and 2004, is portrayed as responsible for a series of famous deaths, from John F Kennedy to Diana, Princess of Wales. "Morgan Freeman is the leader of this cult and Angelina is his second-in-command, McAvoy's mentor," Millar added.

"I now understand why casting directors are so well-paid. It really is a skill to figure out who can bring a character to life and work together as a team. There are four big names in this picture and Angelina is the third of the four released. There is another big male star (to be) announced inside the next week or two. But the people involved in this are already way, way beyond anything I imagined for the first movie I actually own."

Millar is one of the world's leading comic writers and works for Marvel. He has made a name in the industry despite never having worked in the US. In 2000, Millar almost moved to America to work for Warner Brothers but took a job with Marvel instead. "This meant I could commute to New York every couple of months as opposed to living in San Diego, which the Warner Brothers job entailed," he said.

"Ten or 15 years ago it was essential to live there, but with e-mail you could be living in the South Pacific and still make your deadlines.

"I have a big, close family and we didn't want to take my daughter, who was then just a baby, away from all that."

Millar has two other films in development, and his ultimate aim is to inspire a dozen in the next 10 years. He has already written a sequel to Wanted, although he has no ambition to be a director or a screen writer.

"All the Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and X-Men franchises have been around for a while so there's a real gap in the market I want to fill," he said.