Jamie Foxx Cast as Spawn in Film Adaptation
After campaigning for the role for years, Jamie Foxx has been officially cast as C.I.A. black ops operative Albert Francis “Al” Simmons a.k.a. Spawn. The casting is for a new feature length film adaptation of the Todd McFarlane‘s comic book series Spawn. Dark Blumhouse is producing the film and McFarlane will be directing it. The new Spawn adaptation will be McFarlane’s directorial debut. This version of Spawn will be Rated-R with a reported production budget of $10 -$12 Million.
All of the parties concerned are thrilled about the pairing of Jamie Foxx and Todd McFarlane for the new incarnation of Spawn.
Founder and Blumhouse Productions C.E.O. Jason Blum had this to say:
We are thrilled Jamie Foxx will be playing the title role in our movie adaptation of Spawn. He is an incredible actor and a huge fan of the Spawn Universe that Todd McFarlane created. With the depth of talent Jamie can commit to the role and Todd at the helm bringing the world of Spawn to life, we could not be more excited for this film.
Jamie Foxx is ecstatic about the acting opportunity that he has been given with Spawn:
A few years back I flew out to Arizona to meet the man behind one of the most incredible comic book characters in the universe… Todd McFarlane. He was taken aback when I told him with the enthusiasm of a young child that more than anything I wanted to put my name in the hat to embody his beloved character Spawn…. I told him no one would work harder than me if given the opportunity… well… the opportunity is here!! I’m humbled and ready to transform… and to top things off the young Jason Blum is lending his brilliance to the project! Time to be great!!!! #Spawn.
Todd McFarlane had this to say about his writing process and Jamie’s visit:
Jamie came to my office five years ago, and he had an idea about Spawn and we talked about it. 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.’
Todd McFarlane is going for a horror movie feel for the new Spawn film, which is appropriate because of the source material and for the movie studio that brought cineplexes Get Out and the Paranormal Activity franchise. One thing is for sure – the new film will not be a origin film. McFarlane is adamant about that:
“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, acknowledging that he’s gotten odd stares from studio suits in the past on this approach. “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.”
It seems McFarlane will be emphasizing the horror aspects of the Spawn storyline over any of its superhero or antihero sectors.
Because of that narrative move, fans of Spawn will have to wait until the second or third film to get Spawn’s backstory (though I am guessing limited flashbacks may be employed in the first film). That may be a wise move since Al Simmons’ background is a complex one (spoilers):
Albert Francis “Al” Simmons…born in Detroit Michigan, was a highly trained Force Recon United States Marine, where he attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He later joined the United States Secret Service, was able to save the President of the Unites States from an assassination attempt, and was transferred to the Central Intelligence Agency. In the CIA, Simmons was recruited by Director Jason Wynn into a special top-secret covert ops division known as the U.S. Security Group, an elite task force with jurisdiction in all domestic and foreign situations.
Jason Wynn (the director of the CIA) and Simmons began to butt heads more often and Simmons planned to resign.
Jason Wynn hired Bruce Stinson (codenamed Chapel), Simmons’ friend and partner, to kill him. Simmons was murdered during a mission in Botswana for the USSG’s Operation Knightstrike. In a blazing inferno, Simmons’ 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.
Once reborn as a Hellspawn or Spawn, Al Simmons discovered that he had an array of diverse powers and abilities:
Spawn’s body is quite dense, weighing over four hundred pounds, and is composed completely of necroplasm. This gives him super strength and durability. While he still has internal organs, they are non-functional, and their damage/destruction does not hinder Spawn in the least.
Spawn wears a living symbiotic costume. His cape, spikes, chains, and skulls are all part of one organism that will protect Spawn even if he is unconscious.
Spawn has vast magical powers…Though he always tried not to expend a lot of magic, he has been shown using it for a variety of effects including resurrecting the dead, firing blasts of necroplasmic energy, teleportation, shapeshifting, and curing the sick.
Spawn has an ability to “feel” or “sense” misery. He is aware, even subconsciously when someone is attacked or murdered.
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