Jamie Foxx is taking on Spawn and the two could greatly benefit from each other. Spawn's comic book creator Todd McFarlane has been looking to get his prized possession back on the big screen for some time, but it wasn't until recently that it started to gain traction. Blumhouse took on the project thanks to a minimalist approach to the concept, and their history of turning low-budget films into box office hits speaks for itself. But, Spawn has already been on the big screen and it didn't go so well, which is exactly why they turned to an Academy Award winner.
Foxx has an Oscar on his shelf thanks to Ray and could've had another after being nominated for Collateral. But, this won't be his first journey into a comic book movie. It is safe to say that his last go around wasn't up to par with some of Foxx's other work. His body of work gave reason to believe he could be a great villain in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as Electro. but that's not how things played out. Instead of going down as a top comic book villain (or even just an average one), the direction Sony took Electro didn't make for a good antagonist. Cringe-worthy dialogue and a lack of true motivations were just a few of the problems Foxx encountered in his first superhero movie.
Unfortunately, the original Spawn in 1997 probably faired even worse. Lacking visual effects really put a hindrance on Spawn, an effects-heavy character. The film stayed close enough to the source material to not anger the character's fanbase, but the overall quality of the movie was notably lacking. The PG-13 take added a humorous approach to some of the characters. Even though the movie has gained a cult following in the twenty-one years since, a Rotten Tomatoes critic score of 18% and a Metacritic score of 34 just goes to show the unwelcome debut Spawn had.
As bad as things have been for both sides, the time is now for them to come together and help each other. The confirmation of Foxx has been a long time coming. He previously sought after the role a few years back and his name re-emerged as a contender about a month ago. Now that he's officially on board, Foxx's name brings a certain legitimacy to Spawn. Some of Foxx's career highlights were mentioned prior, but he also just turned in a scene-stealing role in Edgar Wright's Baby Driver. With films like Django Unchained and Horrible Bosses also helping show the range he has, Foxx's credibility and name recognition should go a long way.
This isn't just a one-way street though, as Spawn could certainly help Foxx too. Even though he's been in several hits, he has yet to land his own franchise. McFarlane envisions a trilogy with Spawn and if that does happen (which is very plausible thanks to the low-budget angle), these movies will help keep Foxx as a big movie star. Should that come to be, Foxx will be an even more sought-after actor in Hollywood, possibly making this a launching pad of sorts for him to land even bigger roles. This all is likely dependent on Spawn actually delivering and being both a hit critically and financially, but it certainly looks like the pairing could be best for everyone involved.
Spawn is currently in pre-production but does not have a release date.