One of the most popular independent comic books of its decade was transformed into this dark, bloody adventure intended to launch a profitable superhero franchise. Michael Jai White stars as Al Simmons, a corrupt assassin betrayed and murdered by his evil government supervisor, Jason Wynn (Martin Sheen). Sent to Hell, Simmons is offered a chance to return to the earthly plane if he will become a "Hellspawn" ("Spawn" for short), one of many super-powered creatures assigned to encourage living souls along the path to damnation. Simmons hastily agrees to this deal and becomes a twisted, scarred version of his former self, living in a dingy alleyway, with no hope of regaining his life, as several years have passed and his wife Wanda (Theresa Randle) has married his best friend, Terry Fitzgerald (D.B. Sweeney). Despite the best efforts of his mentor, a demonic clown (John Leguizamo), Spawn performs mostly heroic acts, though he is not above seeking revenge on Wynn. Despite the film's middling box office take, plans for a sequel were announced. The same summer that Spawn was released, the comic was also the basis of a well-received cable TV series.