Jeremy Renner is set to co-star in Spawn movie as creator Todd McFarlane makes his directorial debut adapting his Image comic creation
With news having dropped in May that Jamie Foxx is cast as Spawn in creator Todd McFarlane’s directorial debut for the scripted adaptation of his comic book creation, another big name has now been added to the cast in the form of Jeremy Renner. No stranger to the comic book or action movie, Renner will be playing Maximilian ‘Twitch’ Williams. Spawn sold an unprecedented 1.7 million copies at the time it was released and is one of the world’s bestselling and longest-running monthly comic books, with hundreds of millions sold worldwide in more than 120 countries and in 15 different languages.
First seen in the very first issue of Spawn in May 1992, Twitch is seen as a good cop surrounded by corruption in the force and alongside partner Sam Burke goes on to aid Spawn in his war against evil. Both Sam and Twitch would also go on to be showcased in the eponymous spin off comic Sam and Twitch in 1999, which itself had a 26 issue run, before returning in Sam and Twitch: Case Files in 2003, running another 25 issues.
Although Renner is more notable of late for his 2012 action role in The Bourne Legacy and as Hawkeye in the Marvel Studios Avengers movies, it is his early work in the movie, Hurt Locker, four years earlier that interested McFarlane. After securing Jason Blum for production and Foxx as the lead, Todd recognized that the most important role would be that of the man who would be the link between Spawn and the viewing audience. Speaking to Deadline in an interview he said “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.”
McFarlane has stated in the past he wanted to make a hard-R movie that doesn’t need to explain much in terms of backstory. Believing the most important next step will be to secure the distributor to set the financing on a film that will likely carry a $10 million-$12 million budget, an R rating, franchise potential and enable production to start in the Fall, he is also under no illusion that he himself is the linchpin of the production, stating “Jason and I feel we have a strong package here,” he said. “Academy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated actor.” Humbly adding “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.”
“As a first time director, I wanted to surround myself with the most talent and the most skilled people I can on all fronts,” McFarlane told Deadline. “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.” Which is a sentiment made clear in Todd’s tweets and Instagram messages recently about the news and makes it certain that the choice has the most important seal of approval.
This marks the second big screen release of the titular character, with the 1997 Michael Jai White movie notable as the first film to feature an African American actor portraying a major comic book superhero, coming a year before Blade, as well as the fan favorite 1997 HBO Anime series, which also featured Sam and Twitch. The show was the winner of two Primetime Emmy awards, first for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation in 1998, then following with Outstanding Animated Program in 1999, as well as winner two years running of the Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel award in 1998-99, for best sound editing. And the track record of Blumhouse also speaks for itself. Written and directed by comedian Jordan Peele, Get Out was made on a budget of just $4 million and made a net profit of $124 million, becoming the tenth most profitable film of 2017 and also Jason (Blum’s) movie “Split” cost $9 million and grossed $278 million worldwide causing eager anticipation for the joint Unbreakable sequel Glass in 2019. Released by Blumhouse, Spawn will be joining the ranks of some illustrious movies from the production company. as well as hits like Get Out and Split, there are also successful franchise movies such as The Purge, Paranormal Activity, Insidious and Sinister as well as The Gift and the recent Happy Death Day.
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