Nearly a week since That Hashtag Show had reported Jeremy Renner could be joining Todd McFarlane’s film adaptation of Spawn, Deadline has confirmed tonight that he has signed on for a role to star alongside Jamie Foxx in the Blumhouse feature.
Spawn focuses on elite CIA mercenary Al Simmons, who is killed by his partner and is sent to hell as he was responsible for the death of several innocent people. Simmons makes a deal for his soul with an evil being known as Malebolgia so he could see his wife again. Unfortunately for Simmons, that deal turns him into a demonic creature and gets sent back to Earth. Spawn is a character that possesses superhuman strength and speed, and near immortality. Spawn also has the ability to teleport, shapeshift, and heal.
Todd McFarlane revealed during a Facebook Live interview with Kevin Smith at San Diego Comic Con last year that he was partnering up with Blumhouse productions to bring the antihero back to the big screen.
The report states that Jeremy Renner (whose recent credits include Tag and Wind River) will be playing the role of Detective ‘Twitch’ Williams, who has the intelligence and intuition that Spawn needs most. This unconventional detective is near fearless and compliments Spawn’s demonic powers, and it is that combination that will help Spawn win his war.
Todd McFarlane spoke to Deadline about casting Renner, saying:
As a first time director, I wanted to surround myself with the most talent and the most skilled people I can on all fronts. I was lucky enough to land Jason Blum and then Jamie Foxx, and I knew the person on screen the most is this police officer, Twitch Williams. We needed as strong a person as possible because he will be the face of the film. I took my naïve Hollywood approach again, and said let’s start at the top and work down. Jeremy was at the top. I’m a huge fan of his. The character doesn’t need to be a bodybuilder or GQ handsome. I was looking for somebody who’s a person you’ve met before; I needed someone who can pull off the grief of an average human being. I’ve seen Jeremy do that in more than a few of his movies. He was at the top of my list, just like Jamie.Spawn is King Arthur and Twitch is Sir Lancelot, and this isn’t about physicality, or jumping over buildings,” he said. “This is more a brawn and brain combination, and the first film I think of with him is The Hurt Locker, the army grunt doing the job, and that spilled out into all these roles leading up to Wind River. There was a sense of melancholy to that character that is important and that was a movie also made by a first time director, but one who wrote the thing and so wasn’t nervous about trying to get what you want. Jeremy had the experience of working with the first timer and saw that if you put a good crew together, the whole is way better than the parts and you don’t have to worry.
Jason Blum added:
Jeremy is the ideal choice for Twitch Williams. He radiates honesty, intelligence and a hard-working, everyman charisma, the same qualities that make Twitch such a compelling character.
Todd McFarlane then spoke to Deadline about the next step will be to lock a distributor to finance the film, which will likely carry a $10m to $12m budget, an R rating, and franchise potential. He said:
Jason and I feel we have a strong package here. Academy Award nominated and Academy Award nominated actor. As a first time director, I guess I’m the weak link, but I think my brand is strong. Hopefully when we go to studios, fairly soon, we’ll get the interest of more than one and we can pick what place will do this project justice, marketing and distributing it. We’re going to go for as close to a green light as we can get, since the development process has already been done. We’re looking for someone to say, ‘yeah cool, we’ll take it.’ It’s a reasonable budget, we’re not asking anyone to stretch. The goal here is a quality project at reasonable price.
There is no cinematic release date in place as of yet for Spawn.