Jamie Foxx reportedly has agreed to anchor a planned movie trilogy based on the iconic Spawn comics series, playing the title role in a lower-budget, Todd McFarlane-directed reboot of the character from Blumhouse Productions.
As reported by Deadline, Foxx will play Al Simmons, aka Spawn, the anti-hero who makes a bad deal with the devil in exchange for a chance at vengeance after being betrayed and murdered by his CIA colleagues on Earth.
McFarlane, who created Spawn for Image Comics, told Deadline the first film in the series won’t be an origin story and that he wants to bring a darker, R-rated take to the franchise he made popular in the 1990s.
“I’ve got a trilogy in mind here, and I’m not inclined in this first movie to do an origin story. I’m mentally exhausted from origin stories,” said McFarlane, later adding, “I’m not going to explain how Spawn does what he does; he is just going to do it.”
Spawn did get the origin story treatment with the 1997 release of Spawn, with Michael Jai White in the starring role. While not a hit with critics, the movie earned more than double its $40 million production budget. A well-received animated series titled Todd McFarlane’s Spawn (with Keith David voicing the title character) also ran for three seasons on HBO, ending in 1999.
McFarlane said he wrote the script for the new films with Foxx in mind for the title role. Even though he intends the rebooted character to be a man of few words, McFarlane said, Foxx’s acting chops should “make you go, ‘Whoa, I don’t want to mess with that guy. What a badass.’ ”
There’s no early word on a development timeline for the first film, but McFarlane said he expects to make the movie for $10-$12 million.