Renner was attached to play Detective “Twitch” Williams, an NYPD homicide detective who is partnered with Sam in the comics but will likely just team up with Jamie Foxx’s Al Simmons (Spawn) in the Blumhouse Productions project.
Talking to Forbes, McFarlane says they will likely have news soon. “We’re on the trail of someone else now. It would be a giant headline if we can get the person we’re looking at.”
He added that the Spawn movie is not sitting idle though. “Jamie [Foxx] is maybe even more enthusiastic about doing this than I am. Even if it’s only two of us, it will be Jamie and myself!”
Asked whether he’s had any conversations with streaming services to bring the Spawn movie to life, he responded: “We’ve had those conversations. People ask why not a TV show instead of a movie? Part of it is I’ve never directed a feature film. I had an itch to scratch. This might be my only chance. I’ve held on to the rights to attach myself to it. If it works out, we can always bring it over to television.”
“Can we do it as a feature and release to a streamer? Sure, maybe,” he added. “But there’s something to having your picture on a big screen, assuming that’s still an option once this is all over.”
And why has it taken so long for the project to come to life? “There’s a couple things. I wrote the first draft of the screenplay. If I’d done my job and written a screenplay that mattered, that would have sold it. I’m culpable on that end to start with,” said McFarlane.
“Then there’s the fear and risk on the financing side with a first time writer, first time director. That’s why I went to get Jason Blum to produce, and attached Jamie and Jeremy – to add the quality to it. My goal is to continue to add those kind of quality people at all levels. The more I can add those people, the less I become relevant as a risk. Hopefully the studios will see that I am planning accordingly and going about this in a businesslike way to reduce that back-end risk, and at some point, we’ll move forward.”
Jason Blum said in 2018: “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.”
The R-rated film is expected to cost about $10 to $12 million to make. A distributor is not on board yet.
Spawn first appeared in 1992’s Spawn #1. Al Simmons, once the U.S. government’s greatest soldier and most effective assassin, was mercilessly executed by his own men. Resurrected from the ashes of his own grave in a flawed agreement with the powers of darkness, Simmons is reborn as a creature from the depths of Hell. A Hellspawn. Now Spawn must choose between his life on Earth and his place on a throne in Hell.
The property was previously made into a 1997 feature film (buy at Amazon) starring Michael Jai White, John Leguizamo, Martin Sheen, Theresa Randle, Nicol Williamson, D. B. Sweeney, and Miko Hughes.