Sam Jackson's getting into The Spirit

It’s been a long wait from the moment Frank Miller announced at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con that he would be directing an adaptation of Will Eisner’s classic comic book The Spirit.

But with funding from Lionsgate and Odd Lot Entertainment now in place, he’s finally ready to start casting. And while he doesn’t yet have a hero in place, he is close to locking a villain.

Samuel L Jackson is busy thrashing out a contract to play The Octopus, a nerdy lab assistant who becomes a psychopathic nightmare who slaughters anyone who sees his face. He’s one of the big nemeses for The Spirit, AKA Denny Colt, a cop murdered on duty who rises as a masked crime fighter.

According to Miller, Jackson is his first choice to play the evil genius and hasn’t yet decided who’ll take on the lead role in the film he’s written and will make his sole directing debut on, after working with Robert Rodriguez to make Sin City.

It’s not known when he’ll actually start working on the film, and whether he’ll first squeeze in time to help forge Sin City 2 first.