Jamie Foxx is set to star in the Spawn movie from Todd McFarlane and Blumhouse Productions.
McFarlane, who created the original comic, is on board to write and direct the movie. He will also produce with Jason Blum.
The Spawn character first appeared in print in 1992, and gained popularity in the comics community almost instantly.
Foxx will play the character who started out in the comics as Al Simmons, a black-ops agent who is betrayed and murdered, with his soul sent to hell for all the innocents he killed. While there, he makes a deal with a demon who allows him to return to the earthly plane and his wife. However, five years have now passed and his wife has moved on, while he is a disfigured and superpowered spawn of hell. Although he has returned to Earth, Simmons finds himself in the middle of a war between Heaven and Hell, with Hellspawn like himself hunted by angels for sport. Additionally, he has to deal with other threats including the Violator, another demon sent to Earth to cultivate evil and generate more soldiers for Hell’s army, who does so disguised as a human clown.
“There are five or six moments where I’m going to need things from my actors, and a couple of them have to come from Jamie, and I’ve seen him deliver them onscreen,” McFarlane said. “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. 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.’”
McFarlane adds that Foxx was the actor in his mind when he wrote the script.
“Jamie came to my office five years ago, and he had an idea about Spawn and we talked about it,” McFarlane said. “I never forgot him, and when I was writing this script, you sort of plug people in, and he was my visual guy and I never let go of 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. I said, ‘Hey, I’m back to talk about Spawn again, and he was like, let’s do it.’”
Producer Jason Blum said Blumhouse was happy to welcome Foxx to the production.
“We are thrilled Jamie Foxx will be playing the title role in our movie adaptation of Spawn,” he said in a statement. “He is an incredible actor and a huge fan of the Spawn Universe that Todd McFarlane created. With the depth of talent Jamie can commit to the role and Todd at the helm bringing the world of Spawn to life, we could not be more excited for this film.”
Foxx sparked to the idea that his five-year wait to play the character will be worth it.
Said Foxx: “A few years back I flew out to Arizona to meet the man behind one of the most incredible comic book characters in the universe… Todd McFarlane. He was taken aback when I told him with the enthusiasm of a young child that more than anything I wanted to put my name in the hat to embody his beloved character Spawn…. I told him no one would work harder than me if given the opportunity… well… the opportunity is here!! I’m humbled and ready to transform… and to top things off the young Jason Blum is lending his brilliance to the project! Time to be great!!!! #Spawn.”
Foxx has previously worked in the comic book film, starring in 2014’s Amazing Spider-Man 2 as the villain Electro.
McFarlane took to Instagram to share the news.
… ME with new SPAWN!!! Official Spawn Movie Update!! . We’ve cast ACADEMY AWARD winner @iamjamiefoxx as #Spawn in the upcoming #SpawnMovie produced by @blumhouse!!! This is the first of more BIG announcements to come, so stay tuned for more. Here are some photos of Jamie and me… including one from WAY back in the day. We’ve been talking about this for real for a long while… . . Link in bio for full article! . . . TODD