Ladies and gentlemen, Jamie Foxx is officially your new Spawn. The Oscar-winning actor has signed on to play the title anti-hero in the new adaptation from comic creator Todd McFarlane and Blumhouse Productions. McFarlane is set to write and make his directorial debut on the film, and will also produce alongside Jason Blum.
Foxx will star as the character McFarlane originated in the comics, Al Simmons, aka Spawn, a former member of the CIA black ops who is betrayed by his team and murdered, whereupon he’s promptly sent to hell for killing innocents in the field. In hell, he makes a deal to exchange his soul in order to see his wife again, only to realize that once he’s returned to Earth, he’s stuck in a demonic getup and his wife has already moved on with his best friend. Brutal, kinda heroics and celestial battles ensue. Michael Jai White previously played the role on screen in the 1997 adaptation.
But don’t go in expecting a lot of backstory. McFarlane has been plain about the fact that he’s tired of origin stories and wants to make a hard-R movie that doesn’t explain itself. “The scariest movies, from Jaws to John Carpenter’s The Thing, or The Grudge and The Ring, the boogeyman doesn’t talk,” McFarlane told Deadline.
For his part, Foxx has been vocal about wanting to play the role for a long time now, and said he was “aggressively pursuing” the part when he spoke with Movies.com back at Comic-Con 2013. It seems that pursuit paid off, as McFarlane explained.
Jamie came to my office five years ago, and he had an idea about Spawn and we talked about it…I never forgot him… When I got done and my agents and everybody was talking about what actor, I said, ‘I’m going to Jamie first and until he says no I don’t want to think about anyone else because I’ve never had anyone else in my head. Luckily, he hadn’t forgotten either.”
Blumhouse and McFarlane confirmed the casting on social media, and you can hop over to Deadline for more of what McFarlane has to say about his vision for the project.
ME and SPAWN!!! Official Spawn Movie Update!! . . . We’ve casted #Spawn in the upcoming #SpawnMovie produced by @blumhouse and I’m excited to tell you that it’s ACADEMY AWARD winner @iamjamiefoxx!!! . . . This is the first of more BIG announcements to come, so stay tuned for more. Here are some photos of me and Jamie… including one from WAY back in the day. We’ve been talking about this for a while… . . . Link in bio for full article! . . . TODD