One doesn’t immediately jump to Alfred Hitchcock as a source of comparison for current adaptations of super hero movies, but Todd McFarlane wants to change that. In 1992, McFarlane’s industry-changing comic book, Spawn, established a less-than-friendly titular anti-hero as its main protagonist. Since that time, the source material spawned an animated series for HBO, lasting from 1997-99, and a highly successful line of action figures.
Also worth mentioning, a feature film starring Michael Jai White in the lead role of Spawn—a resurrected leader of hell’s army who spends much of his time conflicted about his newfound destiny—was also released in 1997. Also starring John Leguizamo in a nearly unrecognizable role as a cartoonishly large, demonic clown known as the Violator, 1997’s Spawn received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics. Since that time, the future of McFarlane’s creation has been ambiguous at best, often appearing bleak.
Today, we are able to report that not only will a new adaptation of Spawn take place, but it has gained a major actor in as the aforementioned devilish hero. Following reports from Deadline, it has been confirmed that Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained, Ray) will be filling the role of the comic book hero, in an upcoming adaptation produced by Blumhouse (Get Out, Split).
“We are thrilled Jamie Foxx will be playing the title role in our movie adaptation of Spawn,” Jason Blum said in a statement, expressing much excitement for the upcoming film.
Foxx recently revealed that playing the character of Spawn was a childhood dream for the Collateral actor.
Perhaps equally notable, this new iteration of Spawn will be helmed entirely by comic-creator Todd McFarlane, as it’s based off his own original script and set to be directed by the 57-year-old comic writer. McFarlane has also stated that the new film will not be an origin story, referring to himself as “mentally exhausted” by origin stories so prevalent within the world of super hero movies.
Moreover, McFarlane sends words of caution to his most avid fan base that this will likely not be what those fans are expecting. In an unconventional move, McFarlane instead intends to throw audiences right into the mix, giving little background or explanation for who Spawn is or what he is doing. He cites horror films as his main source of inspiration in approaching this new adaptation, promising less Captain America and more Alfred Hitchcock.
“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…”
The writer-director also mentions having a trilogy in mind for Spawn, a title which remains MacFarlane’s most universally-recognized creation.