Samuel L. Jackson, the man who by his own count has been in “something like 100 movies,” is a big fan of all the action figures he’s been turned into — his favorite is Mace Windu, the Star Wars Jedi master — and he keeps them all lined up in his office. “I catch Mace starring at Shaft and Frozone flying all around my office.” The ubiquitous star may soon get his most iconic action figure yet: Octopus from Will Eisner’s The Spirit. Filming the part in Frank Miller’s upcoming movie, Jackson had to embody a character that has just been a pair of gloves since Eisner created The Spirit comic in 1940. So he was free to create the character the way he wanted. “I became a black Nazi. And I look good. You can grow up to be anything you want to be,” he said.
Jackson, his writer-director Frank Miller, producer Deborah del Prete, actor Gabriel Macht (who has the title role), and actress Jaime King (Lorelai in the film), took to the Comic-Con stage Friday to introduce their Christmas 2008 offering. They brought a lot of clips that resembled the filmmaking style of Miller’s Sin City and enticed the devoted attendees: a muddy battle between Octopus and the Spirit; an underwater swim by costar Eva Mendes (pictured, with Scarlett Johansson and King) that wasn’t really underwater; and the trailer, which introduced the crowd to the Spirit and his throng of female heroines. But what would Eisner, Miller’s mentor, say about what his student has created on the big screen? “He’d say its perfect!” Miller exclaimed. Maybe audiences will too.