Michael Jai White talks about Gambol, Spawn, and Black Panther

Michael Jai White talks about Gambol, Spawn, and Black Panther

A short interview from Ramascreen.com.

RS: Todd McFarlane hinted another SPAWN movie. Do you know if you’re going to be involved in any of that.. having starred in the first movie?

MW: He’s hinted like that for over 10 years, that’s just the truth. So ya know.. I don’t even speculate anymore. I mean I would be all for doing another SPAWN movie, the way that I feel that the public would like to see one. It was well before Batman got dark and before Spider-Man got dark, We had a really dominant dark superhero. And you look at Hellboy, The Dark Knight, they’re following in the path that SPAWN made.

I think it’s a travesty that the studios can’t figure out how to cash in on this franchise again because making superhero movies, making it more dark has been successful, so why not do the darkest of them all? And do it in an actual R-rating, like it should be done

RS: My theories were that SPAWN had the misfortune of arriving during the era when people weren’t responding well to superhero movies, understandably so because superhero movies were lame, I mean we remember Batman & Robin and there was The Phantom.. but then Spider-Man came along and this past decade have shown that superhero movies can be well-crafted after all.

MW: I think sometimes we think about our common sense and I’m sorry to say this but our common sense, the regular people’s common sense is not the studio’s common sense and I don’t think a lot of the studios have common sense to be honest with you. I think the people who run studios are just further removed from the average man especially when it comes to comic book heroes and stuff that’s cool. The public speaks loud when they see movies that are actually believable.. like.. there wasn’t a star in 300 really but it looked cool, the average man said ‘I wanna see that’, it wasn’t necessarily big actor driven, neither was the Bond franchise when they gave it to Daniel Craig.

I think it’s been common sense for so many years that if you’d done a SPAWN 2 and done it dark, it would probably eclipse most of the movies out there because the character was so badass. But ya know (laugh) it makes you scratch your head when you realize the people running the studios are not average guys.

RS: Now I never had the chance to interview late Heath Ledger. We know that you shared a couple of screen times with Heath in The Dark Knight. What was it like working with the great Heath.. When he became the joker, did he disappear in his character? I mean you gotta be amazed a bit right?(laugh)

MW: Actually.. there’s this belief that a lot of people wanna have that he incorporated some kind of dark character that kind of affected him or something.. Heath was just so cool… Heath going in and out of that character and he’d have.. He’d do different takes, where he’d do different voice, made his voice a little bit deeper. Sometimes ya know.. he’d still be playing with the character right? And he’d say ‘how did you think that was?’ and he was very accessible. Because the character being so dark, I think there was this belief that he might’ve been one of those method actors or whatever. He wasn’t like that at all, He was just really cool.

We were like trading magic tricks between sets, between shots and he was just very easygoing. It’s not like any kind of.. I mean, he was a great actor, he was very, very generous, and he did such a great job it’s like he really would turn on that character when you need it. He understood the character a great deal. He wasn’t above.. just having fun with it. Because some of the things he had done was just Improv. He goes down to the hall way, leaving the hospital room and he just uses the hand sanitizer.. he just thought it would be a funny thing to do. It was just a joy to watch the guy.

RS: I know your character, Gambol, died in the movie. Did you hear they were going to make BATMAN 3 when you were shooting The Dark Knight?

MW: The thing I’ve heard is that my character didn’t die in the movie. It’s up to speculation. There’s a knife that’s in my mouth. I never shot a death scene. The only scene I shot was where he puts the knife in my mouth, and he flicks the knife and cuts my cheek and I go down. But the way they cut away in the shot, and you see me go down, I guess in your imagination I’m dead or something. But if you look at that shot again, ‘well, when did he put it next to my neck?’ So..

RS: O..So you might return for the third one?

MW: Well, it’s a possibility, I could return like half a joker (laugh)

RS: But no phone call yet?

MW: No

Black Panther

RS: Scott Sanders told me that he already talked to Marvel about BLACK PANTHER. Is that something that the two of you are seriously pursuing? Or is it just wishful thinking?

MW: If they’re smart enough to make me BLACK PANTHER then they’re very smart because I would make people forget about a lot of superheroes if I get a chance to play that role

RS: Nothing in the pot right now?

MW: No, nothing’s in the pot. But I mean, that would be a home run if they let me play that character

I hope that Gambol survived and I wouldn't mind seeing him either in Spawn 2 or as the Black Panther.
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