Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx has signed on to star in Spawn, the long-discussed live-action film from Todd McFarlane and Blumhouse Productions. The actor has long lobbied for the starring role in the comic book adaptation.
The film, which marks the directorial debut of Spawn creator McFarlane, is characterized as a dark, R-rated imagining of the character, with a production budget pegged by Deadline as somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million and $12 million.
The website has what we can assume is an official synopsis, or pretty close to it:
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.
McFarlane had Foxx in mind when he first began work on the script. “Jamie came to my office five years ago, and he had an idea about Spawn and we talked about it,” he said in a statement.. “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.'”
Introduced in 1992 by McFarlane, Spawn was wildly popular throughout much of the decade, inspiring spinoff comic books, a live-action 1997 movie starring Michael Jai White and an HBO animated series. McFarlane has kept fans updated on the film's development, discussing inspirations, thoughts on casting and plans for a new animated series. The project began casting in January.