Back in May, creator Todd McFarlane's Spawn adaptation found its titular lead in Jamie Foxx. McFarlane Film and Blumhouse Productions announced Monday that Jeremy Renner will play Detective "Twitch" Williams, a police detective enlisted by Spawn to fight evil. In the comics, Twitch is more of a side character, but he'll be central to the Spawn movie story.
“With the ensemble of award-winning talent that has signed on to the Spawn Movie - Jason Blum (producer), Blumhouse Productions, Jamie Foxx (Spawn) and NOW Jeremy Renner - it is MORE than I'd EVER hoped for when first visualizing this movie years ago,” said creator Todd McFarlane in a statement.
The first-time feature director/writer also spoke to Deadline about why he thinks Renner is right for the role:
"I took my naïve Hollywood approach again, and said let’s start at the top and work down. Jeremy was at the top. I’m a huge fan of his. The character doesn’t need to be a bodybuilder or GQ handsome. I was looking for somebody who’s a person you’ve met before; I needed someone who can pull off the grief of an average human being. I’ve seen Jeremy do that in more than a few of his movies. He was at the top of my list, just like Jamie.”
Of course, Spawn is McFarlane's iconic comic creation that follows CIA agent Al Simmons (Foxx) who is transformed into Spawn in a deal gone wrong in Hell. After discovering his wife has married his best friend, he turns to fighting crime. He teams up with police detective Twitch (Renner) in order to win the war against the evil of the world. The series of films is set to be a darker, R-rated trilogy, but McFarlane has said it won't be an origin story.
In the Spawn comics, Twitch teams up with another NYPD detective Sam Burke to solve cases as private investigators. Twitch is seen more as the brains of the operation, but is also an expert marksman (with a gun instead of a bow). The team has a complex relationship with Spawn, who is wary to trust the police. But ultimately they are able to work together. The two characters were popular enough to get a spin-off series of their own called Sam and Twitch, which began in 1999 and ran through 2003.
This isn't the first time Spawn has jumped from page to screen. In 1997, two Spawn properties... spawned: a film starring Michael Jai White, and an animated series called Todd McFarlane's Spawn, which ran for three seasons on HBO and included Renner's character as voiced by Michael McShane.