Production is set to begin in October in New Mexico and will take place entirely at Albuquerque Studios.
The fantasy thriller tells the tale of a rookie cop who returns from the dead to fight crime as a vigilante in Central City. Mendes will play Sand Saref, a femme fatale who shares a painful history with The Spirit and is the only woman capable of breaking his heart.
Lionsgate holds domestic and UK rights and is scheduled to release the film in 2009. Odd Lot International holds the majority of foreign rights and sold select territories to Sony including France, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, and Latin America, excluding Brazil and Mexico.
Frank Miller is directing the film from his adapted screenplay based on the classic comic book series created by Will Eisner.
Cinematographer Bill Pope, who worked on Spider-Man 2 and 3 and The Matrix franchise, has also come aboard.
Odd Lot Entertainment principals Deborah Del Prete and Gigi Pritzker are producing with Michael Uslan of Batfilm Productions. Batfilm co-founder Benjamin Melniker and Steve Maier are executive producers.
Mendes previously starred in Hitch and Ghost Rider and will next be seen in Columbia Pictures' We Own The Night. She is currently filming The Women with Meg Ryan, Jada Pinkett Smith, Debra Messing, Annette Bening and Candice Bergen.
She is represented by CAA, Management 360, and attorney Jason Sloane at Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.