Spawn Star Explains Why The First Movie Was Garbage

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

Michael Jai White Spawn

Michael Jai White has an extensive filmography, with multiple award-winning roles, but the actor keeps coming back to his role as the titular hero in 1997’s Spawn. Speaking with Movieweb, the accomplished martial artist did not hold back in how the first movie abandoned a coherent story for the sake of bigger special effects. The upcoming reboot, directed by Spawn’s creator, Todd McFarlane, gives the actor hope that the first black comic book hero to make it to the big screen is honored with a decent film.

Spawn’s leading man knows how the public feels about the movie, which stands at an abysmal 17% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, mentioning right off the bat during his interview that “There is no footage of me ever saying that I likedĀ Spawn. I have never said that I thought that was a good movie,” which is, amazingly, a true statement. At the time of its release, superhero movies were incredibly rare, with only Batman being prominently featured in the early 90’s.

The Spawn comic was the crown jewel of the hippiest comics company of the 90’s, Image, which was founded by former Marvel/DC superstars that wanted creative control over their characters. Todd McFarlane’s dark tale of a murdered Marine that makes a deal with a devil to return to Earth and enact revenge. The epic saga was in its relative infancy when the movie was produced, breaking a Hollywood color barrier in the process.

The character of Spawn was always a black man, Al Simmons, making Michael Jai White the first black man in Hollywood to lead his own big-budget comic adaptation. In fact, the actor originally liked the film, “I saw an earlier version where the story was more intact, showing the relationship between my Al Simmons character and his wife, and the desire for why Al would want to come back.” As often happens in Hollywood though, the film that went out to the publicly was heavily edited and left out, according to its own leading man, the best parts.

spawn reboot
Michael Jai White in costume as Spawn.

As he explains, “later, all that that front story got eliminated. I think the people who had already followed Spawn, they understood the character, and I think they followed along a lot more than most people did.” It’s the actor’s hope that with Todd McFarlane at the helm, the upcoming remake won’t have the same plot-based problem.

The man who was Spawn, like most of the heroes die-hard fans, thinks the key is to make a closer adaptation, “If it were done like the comic book, I think would be amazing. I’ve heard Todd McFarlane is supposed to direct it, but I’ve heard this for years.” According to the latest reports, Blumhouse is on to produce with Scott Silver (Joker) and Malcolm Spellman (Falcon and the Winter Soldier) onboard as additional writers.

Jamie Foxx is set to take on the cursed cape and cowl of Spawn, though other than that news, nothing else is currently known about the production. Michael Jai White wishes the best for Foxx and McFarlane, with the former star’s attitude matching that of the fans’ desire to bring the comic to life as directly as possible, with all the grit, darkness, and demons intact.