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Jamie Foxx joins Todd McFarlane’s Spawn

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Todd McFarlane has been busy working on a new Spawn movie for years. It has been picked up by Blumhouse and McFarlane is going to direct it. He also wrote the script and it seems some major casting is in place as Deadline is reporting that Jamie Foxx is onboard to play Al Simmons (although they are saying the character is called Al Newman for some reason).

Albert Francis “Al” Simmons (Lt. Colonel, USMC-Ret.), born in Detroit Michigan, was a highly trained Force Recon Marine who was at his most successful point when he saved the President from an attempted assassination. He was promoted to a high level and recruited to a highly classified unit within the CIA devoted to black ops. Once there, he began to question the morality of what his agency was doing. Jason Wynn hired Bruce Stinson (codenamed Chapel), Simmons’ friend and partner, to kill him. In a blazing inferno, Simmons was killed and his soul sent to Hell, because he had knowingly killed innocents while working for the CIA. Simmons made a deal with an evil being known as Malebolgia: in exchange for his soul, he would get to see once again his wife, Wanda. However, when Simmons returned to the human world, five years had passed, and he had been transformed into a demonic creature with little memory of his former life. After regaining his memories, he sought out his wife, only to find she had moved on and married his best friend, Terry Fitzgerald, and that they now had a daughter named Cyan.

Todd McFarlane and Jamie Foxx

Todd McFarlane created the character and the comic was released back in 1992. Michael Jai White played Simmons / Spawn in the 1997 film.

McFaarlane expects the budget to be between $10M-$12M for the R-rated film. He doesn’t intend to tell Spawn‘s origin story and he expects his anti-hero to be a man of few words.

“The scariest movies, from Jaws to John Carpenter’s The Thing, or The Grudge and The Ring, the boogeyman doesn’t talk,” McFarlane told Deadline. “It confuses people because of the comic book industry, and because they all default into their Captain America mindset and I keep saying, no, get into John Carpenter’s mindset or Hitchcock. 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. 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? 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. Luckily, there’s a movie that just came out that helps my cause. In A Quiet Place, the first thing on screen is a card in black and white letters that says Day 89. It doesn’t care about what happened in those first 88 days. There are a couple headlines, but then we are on day 450. That movie doesn’t worry about explaining and giving all the answers. What it said in that case was, if you can hang on for a story of survival of this family, this movie will make complete sense for you.”

“If you want to see something creepy and powerful where you go, just what the hell was that? I’m not going to explain how Spawn does what he does; he is just going to do it. We’ll eventually do some of the background if we make a trilogy, but that’s not this first movie. The first movie is just saying, do you believe? And if you believe than that’s good because I’m hoping to take you for a long ride with this franchise.”

It seems that McFarlane always had Foxx in mind for the role.

“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.’”

“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. 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.’”

What do you want to see in a Spawn movie?

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One Comment

  1. “Images” like nightmares of Samurai Spawn or Santa Spawn

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