Michael Jai White in Spawn

It has been nearly a quarter century since the 1997 release of the first adaptation of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn comic book series, and while the movie wasn’t a success with critics or mainstream audiences, the Michael Jai White-led anti-hero blockbuster has become something of a cult classic in recent years. And during that time, there has been talk of the powers at being making the Spawn reboot now the original film has become so beloved by a growing portion of the moviegoing audience. But what’s the deal with that?

The Spawn reboot has had a long road with an even longer one ahead of it as the character’s creator Todd McFarlane struggles to get the project off the ground despite being funded by one of the biggest names in horror movies as well as having a cast consisting of the likes of Jamie Foxx and Jeremy Renner. But again, what’s the deal with this new version of Spawn? Well, buckle in because this is going to be a wild ride through the pits of development hell

Jamie Foxx in Project Power

Jamie Foxx Is Attached To The Film’s Lead Role And Seems Stoked To Be Involved

Jamie Foxx’s name has been in the news a lot for another comic book movie with his reprisal of Electro in the upcoming Spider-Man threequel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the actor, who has been attached to star as the titular anti-hero in the Spawn reboot is pretty stoked to be working with director Todd McFarlane as he told CinemaBlend in 2020:

I surprised Todd McFarlane. I said, ‘Bro, I know that one day you will do this movie, and I hope you will keep me in mind.’ What Black Panther did was let us know that it’s so necessary, and it’s the time. And Spawn is just an interesting character in itself. The heads that are being put together to bring you something special - look out.

And the Spawn reboot is something of a passion project for Jamie Foxx, who has been campaigning for the role of Al Simmons since at least 2013, with his involvement becoming more concrete in the years since.

Jeremy Renner in Avengers: Endgame

Jeremy Renner Has Been Attached As Detective Twitch Williams Since 2018

Jeremy Renner, who is no stranger to comic book movies, has been attached to the role of Detective Maximilian Steven Percival “Twitch” Williams III in the Spawn reboot since as far back as 2018 when it was announced that the Hawkeye actor would be joining Jamie Foxx in Todd McFarlane’s directorial debut. For those not familiar with Twitch Williams, in the Spawn comics, the character is an NYPD detective who helps the anti-hero achieve his goals after returning from the pits of hell.

In July 2018, Todd McFarlane credited Jamie Foxx with helping him convince Jeremy Renner to join the project after seeing the pair in Foxx’s Off Script interview series sponsored by Grey Goose vodka. After McFarlane asked Foxx to pitch the movie to Renner, the actor talked to his fellow comic book star and the rest is history.

Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool

Todd McFarlane Wants To Make A Spawn Movie That Is More R-Rated Than Deadpool

Something that Todd McFarlane is attempting to do with the Spawn reboot that couldn’t be done with the 1997 original is get an R-rating, as opposed to the more sensitized PG-13 rating the first effort earned prior to its release. During a panel at ACE Comic-Con in early 2018, McFarlane made it abundantly clear that he wanted to pursue a more mature rating that would give him more liberties with the Spawn reboot but that he also wanted it to be more R-rated than Deadpool. At the panel, Spawn’s creator explained that he wants more violence than Deadpool, which largely received its mature rating for nudity and language.

The Success Of 2019’s Joker Had A Positive Effect On The Spawn Reboot

The idea of an R-rated comic book movie used to seem like nothing more than a pipe dream, but with the success of the likes of Deadpool (and it’s 2018 sequel), Logan, and most recently and notably 2019’s Joker, there’s never been a better time for someone like Todd McFarlane to go for an edgier and darker anti-hero story. This is something the comic book creator addressed during a 2020 conversation with the Phoenix New Times newspaper in which he said that the world is finally seeing that darker comic book movies are possible and can be profitable. McFarlane also revealed that ever since Joker broke all sorts of records (and took home multiple awards), he’s been receiving more and more calls about moving forward with the Spawn reboot.

John Leguizamo in Spawn

Jason Blum Said In May 2020 That Spawn Is In Active Development

The Spawn reboot has been something Todd McFarlane (the comic’s creator as well as the new movie’s director) has been working on for more than two decades now, but the project really picked up steam in 2017 when it was announced that Jason Blum, the American film and television producer who leads Blumhouse Productions, would be producing the project. And while he didn’t go into details during a May 2020 conversation with Comicbook.com, the film executive did say there’s a great deal of development going on with the project:

I’m glad you asked. There has been an enormous amount of activity on Spawn. No new news that I’m going to reveal here, I’m sorry to tell you, but the title Spawn, I’ve been uttering that world a lot in the last two or three weeks and we’ll have more news to come. But, suffice it to say, it is a very active development.

Hopefully, there is more information from Jason Blum and director Todd McFarlane as the project moves forward so we can finally see what the Spawn reboot is all about.

Michael Jai White in Spawn

Original Spawn Actor Michael Jai White Didn’t Have High Hopes For The Reboot In December 2020

Michael Jai White, the actor who took on the titular role (as well as his human counterpart Al Simmons) in 1997’s Spawn doesn’t seem to be involved with this latest iteration, especially after comments made during a December 2020 interview with Comic Book Resources. In the conversation, White didn’t seem too impressed with the idea that Spawn would be less of a physical presence like in the original but instead a mysterious and shadowy figure with a rather unconventional way of communicating. Here’s what he had to say:

[Todd McFarlane’s] been trying to get a new movie up and going for 23 years so I don’t know. [Laughs] The last time I saw him, he was telling me about his idea of Spawn being ethereal fog that you don’t see, like Jaws, and he strikes and you never see him and I’m like ‘Okay, good luck with that!’ Personally, I wish him well, that would be a major investment.

That being said, it seems like Michael Jai White doesn’t really want anything to do with the Spawn reboot.

There are still plenty of unknowns about the Spawn reboot, especially when it comes to what the movie will be about, when it will come out, or even when it will enter production after years of planning. And although we will have to wait for Todd McFarlane’s directorial debut, there are a lot of great movies coming out this year, all of which you can read about in CinemaBlend’s 2021 Movie Release guide.

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