"The Spirit" is willing... Just days after comic god Frank Miller suggested that Samuel L. Jackson was being considered to play the villain "Octopus" in his greenscreen-heavy adaptation of "The Spirit" comic strip, the "baddest mother f--ker on the planet" told MTV News that he'll indeed be helping Miller bring the celebrated franchise to life.
Asked whether his involvement was a done deal, Jackson declared, "As far as I'm concerned it is. I'm looking forward to it. I'm anxious to find out what he wants me to look like, how we want to do it, and when we want to start."
The announced collaboration comes after a long, mutual admiration which reaches back to well before "Sin City," Jackson said. "I've been trying to reach out to Frank for years. I always knew that 'Sin City' would make a great movie. At least one of the stories, just give me one of them," the "Snakes on a Plane" star pleaded. "I could never really get in touch with him so I could talk to him about getting the rights, but he knew I was looking for him."
While ostensibly futile, it was Jackson's efforts that eventually got him a meeting for "The Spirit," he said, where a coy Miller left him with an enigmatic promise. "Maybe a month and a half, two months ago, [Frank and I] actually met, had lunch, hung out, talked about 'Spirit,' what he was going to do [with it]," Jackson told MTV News. "He said, you know, you'll get something from me soon."
Will Eisner's "The Spirit" follows detective Denny Colt as he fights crime with the blessing of the city's police force. And the Octopus? "Well, the Octopus actually created Spirit when you come down to it," Jackson said, enthusiasm bubbling over as he began to describe the characters' origins. "He was sort of a mad scientist who worked at a morgue. Spirit was a young cop who got killed. So when his body came in, he was working on this kind of serum that would make people sort of immortal. He tried it on [Spirit] and he came back to life, and then he tried it on himself, so he could be, you know, his nemesis and he became even stronger."
Mad scientists, truth serums, bodies rising from the dead — from the guy who brought us hyper-violent, gritty stories like "Sin City" and "300"? "Well, back in the day when the original comic was done, it was kind of a 1930s/40s kind of thing, so there were still Nazis and all that kind of stuff," Jackson replied. "Frank is going to update them to a point. You know there's still a dead young cop who comes back..."
And at that Sam Jackson trailed off. "Maybe I said too much," he quipped, smiling.