Posted on Monday, September 19th, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
Todd McFarlane has been talking about rebooting Spawn for the big screen since as far back as 2009. At one time he was touting the attachment of an Oscar-winning actor who kept bugging him about the script, and eventually it was determined that actor was probably Jamie Foxx. At the time, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 star himself said that he was “aggressively pursuing” the lead role in the comic book adaptation, but three more years have gone by and nothing has happened. Now Todd McFarlane is again talking about the kind of Spawn movie he wants to make, and he has some concept art this time. Find out more after the jump.
The creator of one of the most popular independent comic books of all time appeared on Kevin Smith’s AMC show Geeking Out where he addressed the status of the Spawn reboot. McFarlane confirms that the film has made some progress, and that he’s written a “dark, R-rated, scary, badass sort of script.” He also show off this one image of concept art:
ComicBook.com had an exclusive clip from Geeking Out, and they also reference an interview they had with McFarlane back in February where he explained how this iteration of Spawn from the previous film adaptation back in 1997:
“In the background, there’s this thing moving around, this boogeyman. That boogeyman just happens to be something that you and I, intellectually, know is Spawn. Will he look like he did in the first movie? No. Will he have a supervillain he fights? No. He’s going to be the spectre, the ghost.“
While that sounds somewhat interesting (and the concept art of “the ghost” above looks cool), this isn’t much different from what McFarlane has been saying for the past seven years. Back in 2009 he said this:
“It’s not a comic book movie, it’s just a scary movie, a creepy movie. Everything’s real except for one element, which happens to be the character we know as Spawn. So it’s not going to be super villain vs superhero or any of that stuff, it’s just going to be a ‘tight’ movie.”
Then again in 2011, he had this to say:
“My attitude toward it is I can’t get my head wrapped around some big special-effects movie with a supervillain in there. There will be plenty of those and they’ve done pretty well… I’ve always seen Spawn as being cut from a different cloth. It’s more of an urban, psychological story that’s being told. The answer I’ve given the last few years is that Spawn should be a small-budget movie in which the only thing that’s out of the ordinary is this thing that intellectually we know as Spawn and there would only be a handful of people that see it.”
I suppose what’s encouraging about this is that Todd McFarlane hasn’t changed his vision for a Spawn movie in all these years. However, he also previously said that his writing and directing the feature film adaptation was a non-negotiable term when it comes to getting the film off the ground, and I can’t imagine a major studio allowing that to happen.
Honestly, I’m not sure this is the best approach to Spawn. While I respect McFarlane’s viewpoint as the creator of the property, I think Spawn needs the stunning visuals that bring the pages of the comic to life. With technology nowadays, Spawn doesn’t need to wear a rubber suit like Michael Jai White did in the 1997 film. Visual effects now easily allow for something stylized in the same vein as Sin City or Watchmen. But since no one is clamoring for a Spawn movie, I don’t think a studio will spend much money to bring it to life unless it’s something that will appeal greatly to general audiences. But maybe I’m wrong.
Whatever McFarlane does, it can’t be worse than the 1997 adaptation, which now has some seriously dated visual effects (which were state of the art at the time). Here’s a modern trailer put together by a fan for the movie:
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