In the tangled tale of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, there’s been one constant you can rely on: Jamie Foxx. The Oscar-winning actor is a fan of the character and signed on early for the lead role. His star power allowed McFarlane to argue that the film would be profitable: the key factor in securing that elusive green light. Sadly, however, Foxx’s presence hasn’t been enough to push the pic into active production and now, more than two years on from the actor signing on to play Al Simmons, there are rumors that he’s getting cold feet.
While McFarlane has claimed that the Oscar winner remains on board, sources close to WGTC – the same ones who said Han was returning to the Fast & Furious franchise and that Transformers is being rebooted – say that they’re still trying to secure a backup in the event that Foxx walks. And right now, his potential replacement is Aquaman and Watchmen star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
Though he may not be as big a name as Foxx, he’s certainly a hot property in Hollywood at the moment, having secured starring roles in the upcoming Candyman and next summer’s The Matrix 4. Abdul-Mateen II appearing in Spawn would also certainly fit with McFarlane’s recent comments that the production was close to landing “a big fish” for a role in the movie.
Never one to turn down an opportunity to hype up the project, McFarlane said that this casting news would “blow up the internet.” I’m not sure that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is a big enough star to warrant that kind of hype (though he’s on his way to becoming one), but I suppose we’ll have to wait and see. What’s also interesting though is that we were told even if he doesn’t replace Foxx, the Aquaman actor could still get involved in another role, potentially a villainous one.
In the meantime, Spawn remains frustratingly close to being made. The wild success of Joker provided a ray of light last year as studios began searching for R-rated superhero fare in an effort to duplicate its success. Spawn seemed like an obvious candidate to be fast-tracked, though obviously the Coronavirus has put the brakes on the entire entertainment industry. So, as always when it comes to this particular project, we’re going to have to wait and see.