A comic character with one of the most twisted back stories imaginable is coming back to the big screen, this time with a mega star attached to tell his (mostly silent) tale.
Deadline reports that Jamie Foxx has signed on to star as the titular hero of "Spawn," based on the comic series by Todd McFarlane. McFarlane is adapting his own work for the big screen, and will also direct the feature.
According to the creator, this version of "Spawn" (which previously inspired both an animated movie and a 1997 live-action feature) won't be a traditional origin story -- and it won't feature a traditional protagonist, either. In an interview with Deadline, McFarlane explained that he doesn't want the character to speak much, citing influences like "Jaws" and "The Ring" in which "the boogeyman doesn't talk."
"This is not a man in a rubber suit, it's not a hero that's going to come and save the damsel. It's none of that," the director told Deadline. "At the end of the movie, I'm hoping that the audience will say either, is this a ghost that turns into a man, or is it a man that turns into a ghost?"
That question sums of the essence of the character. Here's some background on Spawn, per Deadline:
Foxx will play the character who started out in the comics as Al Simmons, a member of a CIA black ops team who is betrayed twice. After being set up by his cohorts to be murdered with his corpse set aflame, Newman is double crossed in Hell. He is convinced to become a Hellspawn warrior in exchange for being able to be reunited with his wife. But Spawn finds himself stuck in a demonic creature shell, and that his wife moved on and married his best friend. So this is one pissed-off antihero who attends to dispatching the scum of the city in good and evil battles that encompass Earth, Heaven and Hell.
That's some pretty dark stuff, and as such, McFarlane is envisioning an R rating for the flick, which he hopes will launch a trilogy. He's working with the folks at Blumhouse, no strangers to telling horrifying stories.
According to the writer-director, Foxx was his first choice for the role, after speaking with the Oscar winner five years ago about a potential "Spawn" project. In a statement, the actor expressed his excitement to get to work on the project:
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!!!!
No word yet on when production is set to begin. Stay tuned.