It was only a couple of days ago that we brought you the news that Lionsgate is going to be the folks behind Frank Miller’s film adaptation of The Spirit, and now there’s already casting news: Samuel L Jackson is Frank Miller’s first choice to play The Octopus, ‘a meek lab assistant who reinvents himself as a psychotic nightmare that kills anyone unfortunate enough to see his face. The Octopus' tentacles reach into every aspect of crime in fictitious Central City, a city he plans to wipe out,’ according to The Hollywood Reporter. Interestingly, Wikipedia says that The Octopus was never shown in the comics - we only saw his white gloves.
This wouldn’t be Jackson’s first turn as a supervillain –he played the truly goofy Mr. Glass in M Night Shyamalan’s atrocious Unbreakable. And it sounds like as silly as The Octopus’ motivations are, they beat the shit out of Mr. Glass’ nonsensical reasonings.
I’m a little bummed that Jackson’s not playing Ebony White, the grotesquely racist parody who was The Spirit’s sidekick. Ebony was sort of redeemed over time in the comics, becoming less offensive (but still pretty offensive), and has ended up in the new DC Comics version of The Spirit – I really imagine that Miller will use the character, and I’m curious to see how the guy, who is not willing to be ‘politically correct,’ will portray him.
I’m also a little bummed that Jackson’s in the movie at all. While he was decent in Black Snake Moan, it was obvious that he’s lost some abilities as an actor. Sean Penn once called Nic Cage a performer instead of an actor, and I feel like Jackson’s become the same sort of thing. I want to see Sam in a role that will remind me why we used to really like him so much once upon a time, before he appeared in any movie that would meet his quote.