Spawn” broke new ground when it debuted in 1997—well before Marvel made comic superhero films one of Hollywood’s biggest cash cows. The live-action film, which featured Michael Jai White (“Insecure”) as its titular character, was the first superhero movie with a Black lead. “Spawn” comic creator Todd McFarlane revisits the character for a new adaptation, toplined by Jamie Foxx (“Baby Driver”).

Deadline reported yesterday (May 29) that the actor will portray Spawn and his alter-ego, ex-government assassin Al Simmons. McFarlane directs the new film, also called “Spawn,” from his own original script.

McFarlane told Deadline that he wrote the new iteration of Simmons with Foxx in mind after discussing it with him. “Jamie came to my office five years ago, and he had an idea about ‘Spawn’ and we talked about it,” McFarlane explained. “I never forgot him, and when I was writing this script, you sort of plug people in, and he was my visual guy and I never let go of him. When I got done and my agents and everybody was talking about what actor, I said, ‘I’m going to Jamie first, and until he says no, I don’t want to think about anyone else because I’ve never had anyone else in my head.’ Luckily, he hadn’t forgotten either. I said, ‘Hey, I’m back to talk about Spawn again,’ and he was like, ‘Let’s do it.’”

“A few years back, I flew out to Arizona to meet the man behind one of the most incredible comic book characters in the universe: Todd McFarlane,” Foxx added. “He was taken aback when I told him, with the enthusiasm of a young child, that more than anything, I wanted to put my name in the hat to embody his beloved character Spawn…. I told him [that] no one would work harder than me if given the opportunity…well…the opportunity is here! I’m humbled and ready to transform.”