The long-gestating Spawn reboot is finally back on track with a new screenwriter in place. Brian Tucker, best known for penning the 2013 crime thriller Broken City with Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg, has reportedly signed on to write the script for the live-action Spawn movie. The creator of the comic and character, Todd McFarlane, is also attached as director. Jason Blum will produce for Blumhouse alongside McFarlane with Carla Hacken executive producing.
This incarnation of Spawn has been in development since 2017, but for various reasons, production just can’t seem to get started. It had previously been reported that Jamie Foxx would star as the titular vigilante with Jeremy Renner in a supporting role as a detective, though it’s not clear if they’re still involved now that several years have passed. The actors had originally agreed to get on board based on the initial script by McFarlane, but they might be re-approached once the new screenplay is finished.
Created by Todd McFarlane in 1992, the character made his debut in Image Comics’ Spawn No. 1. In the comics, he is introduced as Al Simmons, a black ops agent who is betrayed, killed, and sent to hell for all of the innocent lives he’s taken. He makes a deal with a demon to return back to Earth five years after his demise just for the opportunity to see his wife one last time at the cost of becoming a Hellspawn. Al then finds a new purpose in life by stopping evil as a vigilante.
Many fans will remember that Spawn was developed as a live-action movie that premiered in theaters back in 1997. Directed by Mark A. Z. Dippe and written by Alan B. McElroy, the movie starred Michael Jai White as Al Simmons with an ensemble cast that also featured John Leguizamo, Martin Sheen, Melinda Clarke, Theresa Randle, Miko Hughes, and D. B. Sweeney. While it has a bit of a cult following, it was met with very harsh critical reception at the time. Even Leguizamo would later disavow the movie and call for Hollywood to make a more faithful adaptation.
“The thing that Todd McFarlane brought to the comic book industry, which he saved in the early 1990s, was the edge,” he told ScreenGeek in 2018. “The darkness, the vulgarity, the violence. I think the movie would have profited for more violence, more vulgarity and being darker. Let it be truer to the comics.”
There was also an animated series that debuted on HBO in 1997. Dubbed Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, the show featured Keith David as the voice of the popular character and managed to develop a following of its own. Richard Dysart, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kath Soucie, Robert Forster, Ming-Na Wen, and James Hong also lent their voices to the series. The show earned two Emmys during its run along with two Golden Reel Awards.
No release date or production start date has been set at this time for Spawn. Meanwhile, McFarlane is also hard at work on the comic book version of Spawn as well. Soon, he will release the first issue of King Spawn, the character’s next comic book series. The comic book series has found great success with nearly 500,000 copies sold as the longest-running indie comic. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.