Burnt man walkin’.
Jamie Foxx has been cast as the title character in the forthcoming Spawn reboot, according to Deadline. Todd McFarlane, who created the iconic comic character in 1992, will write and direct the feature for Blumhouse Productions.
In the comics, Spawn is an ex-Force Recon Marine and black ops CIA operative named Albert “Al” Simmons, who’s killed by his boss when he starts questioning the agency’s mission. Sent to Hell for the innocent lives he’d taken, Simmons becomes one of Satan’s Hellspawn and is back to Earth to cultivate evil souls to fill the ranks of Hell’s army in its war against Heaven.
However, McFarlane won’t be too concerned with that backstory in his upcoming feature — or, really, in Spawn himself. The character is expected to have minimal screen or speaking time, creating a sense of terror by being kept mostly in the shadows. “It confuses people because of the comic book industry, and because they all default into their Captain America mindset and I keep saying, no, get into John Carpenter’s mindset or Hitchcock,” McFarlane explained. “This is not a man in a rubber suit, it’s not a hero that’s going to come and save the damsel.”
The creator/director/writer said he’s approaching his take like A Quiet Place, where things open in the middle of the mayhem with little explanation. If audiences respond well to the first film, McFarlane has plans to dig deeper into Spawn’s background by turning the franchise into a trilogy. “I’m not going to explain how Spawn does what he does; he is just going to do it… The first movie is just saying, do you believe? And if you believe than that’s good because I’m hoping to take you for a long ride with this franchise.”
Foxx apparently approached McFarlane five years ago expressing his desire to portray Spawn in a new movie. McFarlane kept him in mind while working on the script, eventually leading to the actor’s casting. “He gets into a zone, with body language and a look that basically will say way more than anything I could type on a piece of paper, and this movie is going to need those moments,” McFarlane said. “And in the odd moment where he has to deliver a line that’s short, curt and has impact, he can do it in a way that makes you go, ‘Whoa, I don’t want to mess with that guy. What a badass.'”
Spawn was originally adapted into a 1997 feature film starring Michael Jai White as the title character, John Leguizamo as the creepy villain Clown/Violator, and Martin Sheen as the man who sent Spawn to Hell, Jason Wynn. HBO also aired a dark cartoon version that lasted for three, six-episode seasons between 1997 and 1999. There’s no word on when McFarlane/Foxx’s reboot will hit theaters, but it’s expected to carry a hard R rating and be made on a relatively small budget of $10 to $12 million.