While Spawn remains a popular character over at Image Comics, his 1997 theatrical debut did not go well, with the Michael Jai White-led feature earning dismal reviews and only making close to $88 million worldwide. Two decades later, Spawn is getting a chance at cinematic redemption, and the character's creator, Todd McFarlane, will direct the reboot that's being put together by Blumhouse Productions. A few weeks back, it was rumored that Jamie Foxx was being lined up to play the demonic protagonist, known in civilian form as Al Simmons, and sure enough Foxx has officially signed on for the role.
Back in 2013, Jamie Foxx expressed interest in playing Al Simmons, and five years later, his wish has been granted, thus making him the first actor to be added to the new Spawn movie. In the comics, Al served on a CIA black ops team, but he was killed by his partner Chapel on the orders of Jason Wynn, arguably the most powerful man in the U.S. government, after Al questioned too many of his missions. Then Al's soul was sent to Hell because unbeknownst to him, he'd killed innocent people during his time in the CIA, but he made a deal to return to the world of the living in exchange for his soul. Unfortunately for Al, he returned five years later and had been turned into a demonic being who initially had trouble remembering his past life. As for why Foxx was selected to play Spawn, here's what Todd McFarlane told Deadline:
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.'
Unlike the 1997 Spawn movie, this reboot will not tell Al's origin story, so aside from possibly seeing some quick flashbacks, don't expect any of the events mentioned earlier to be depicted. In fact, as previously revealed by Todd McFarlane, this version of Spawn won't speak in a traditional sense, though he will still "have a voice." This should pose an interesting challenge for Jamie Foxx, as he won't deliver his dialogue in the same way that Michael Jai White did. This won't be Foxx's first time acting in a comic book movie, as he previously played Max Dillon, a.k.a. Electro, in 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The actor was most recently seen as Bats in Baby Driver, and he'll appear later this year as Little John in Robin Hood, as well as continue his hosting duties on Fox's Beat Shazam.
Aside from the main protagonist, the only other character who's been confirmed for the Spawn reboot is Detective Maximillian "Twitch" Williams, who's paired with Detective Sam Burke in the comics. For this movie, Twitch will have a different partner, and he will serve as the primary human character. With Todd McFarlane aiming for Spawn to be released sometime next year, that means production will likely begin in the coming months, which ideally means we'll find out who else will fill out this cast sooner rather than later.
The Spawn reboot doesn't have a release date set yet, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for that information and more updates as they come in. For now, you can look through our 2018 release schedule to learn what movies are coming out later this year.