Todd McFarlane is about to cross the two-hundred issue line with Spawn — hell of an achievement for a non-Marvel or DC book, no matter what you think of the title. That sort of longevity arguably affords him some indulgence to talk up another Spawn film. There’s obviously an audience for the book, and consequently there could be one for another film.

And, much to my surprise, as he talks about what he wants out of another movie, I find myself agreeing with him. It’s easy to dismiss Mr. McFarlane as an egocentric blowhard (I’ve certainly done it more often than not) and, while I’ve never bought into his vision of Spawn per se, I can’t deny that his description of a low-budged, constrained comic book film is more appealing than many other comic-related pitches out there. Read More »

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Two years and one day ago, Peter told you about Warner Bros. intention to bring a new version of The Wizard of Oz to the big screen. The studio had licensed Todd McFarlane‘s Twisted Land of Oz action figure series, which portrays Dorothy as something of a bondage fanatic and the Tin Woodsman as the frightening man-chine at the head of this post, and set Josh Olson about writing a screenplay. At that time Olson was quoted as saying:

I want this to be Harry Potter dark, not Se7en dark.

Since then… nothing. Today, though, the story has resurfaced in a British newspaper. Does this mean that we’re on the verge of seeing this project come into the light?

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The next sentence should be considered an open letter to Todd McFarlane. Todd, please don’t ever change; your massive ego and grandiose plans never fail to entertain us. According to MTV, McFarlane has Leonardo DiCaprio in mind to head up the cast of the new Spawn film. Not as Spawn, because that would just be ridiculous, but as the guy chasing Spawn. Wait, it gets better. “It’s not a big special-effects movie,” says McFarlane, “it’s a character movie, so I could shoot it in 40-50 days and you don’t have to budget that much time.” He even refers to the potential project as a “Godfather-type movie”. Still not amused? There’s more after the jump. Read More »

Spawn

It’s been a week of reboot news, and tonight is no different. Comic book artist/writer turned entrepreneur Todd McFarlane tells IESB that he’s got “five offers on the table” for a new Spawn movie, ranging from big studio to smaller scale. Todd says that he’s leaning towards the latter, which would “keep it down, keep it dark, keep it grungy”, comparing his idea to “The Departed with something moving in the shadows.”

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Oz

OzA couple weeks ago we told you that Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Pictures bought the rights to make a movie based on Todd McFarlane’s revisionist take on L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz will be titled “OZ”. Well, IGN spoke with McFarlane about the new movie project and it was revealed that Michael Bay was originally somehow attached to the project.

“I came up with this huge, massive Lord of the Rings epic. It actually got fairly tight and succinct.””We actually went in there and for a while had Michael Bay going around with me pitching it,” revealed McFarlane. “We had props, visuals, toys, storyboards, posters… I made little models of the city. I think it overwhelmed them. They said that they needed 20 minutes for a pitch and I was like, ‘I need at least an hour and fifteen. I’m going to act out this whole movie and show you the whole thing because this movie is going to cost at least $140 million to make. I don’t want you to not know what you’re buying.'”

It took a long while until one of the movie studios actually bit. And McFarlane also says that the movie will probably be a lot lighter than the original concept seen in the action figure line.

“If you’re asking someone for $140 million, they’re completely the client. So you get to this moment in life where… they’re not making the movie exactly that I would have made, but they’re making something. And you have to go is that something better than, even if you had the power to insist it your way, not making it,” he explained. “There are those moments where you just have to compromise a bit and go this is a collaborative effort and here’s what the studio wants. It is dark and moody, but it’s always been a PG-13 movie. You might not see that in the toys because the toys weren’t built with that PG-13 in mind. The bondage Dorothy, in my pitch, is literally an eight second scene. Just one scene of her in that.”

“There’s a lot of money on the table and they have to get what they want, but that said, we’ve seen a marked movement in films with The Grudge, The Ring and The Lord of the Rings. Those are PG-13 movies, but to me they’re right up against that R edge in terms of tonality. So you can still do dark and do PG-13. In three years, if we ever make it, whoever’s in charge at that point will have much more control than I will. I’ll be there as a producer and have my input, but I’ll just cross my fingers.”

A History of Violence screenwriter Josh Olsen is working on the script. I’m very excited about this project, I hope that the studio doesn’t soften the tone that much. I think an R-Rated version of OZ would be more appealing just in the fact that it would be completely different from the original tale. The closer you get to PG, the closer the story will probably resemble the original stories. I wish we lived in a world where it was more important to create something creative and original, and not just something that will sell to the mass audiences.  I would have loved to see a R-Rated Michael Bay version of the Wizard of Oz. But I’m probably in the minority.

Todd McFarlane’s Oz to the Big Screen

Oz

OzTodd McFarlane makes some of the coolest action figures and statues on the market today. I always thought that his dark and twisted Wizard of Oz line could make an interesting movie, but who would allow it to happen? By that, I mean, the figures were very twisted, and very out there. It’s not something that mainstream America will latch on to. I always assumed that the toy line was collected by Goth-looking individuals who might have some open shelf space for Dorthy in bondage.

Well apparently Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Pictures have acquired the idea from Todd McFarlane. The revisionist take on L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz will be titled “OZ”. A History of Violence screenwriter Josh Olsen is set to write the script, which he claims will be more of a sequel than a remake. The toys are PG-13, if not R-Rated, and the film project will be toned down.

“I saw those toys, and Dorothy as some bondage queen isn’t something I want to do,” Olson told Variety. “The appealing thing about the Baum books to me is how wildly imaginative they are. There are crazy characters from amazing places. I want this to be ‘Harry Potter’ dark, not ‘Seven’ dark.”

McFarlane hopes to create a new interpretation that has “a 2007 wow factor” which can capture the audience that went to see Lord of the Rings. McFarlane said: “You’ve still got Dorothy trapped in an odd place, but she’s much closer to the Ripley from ‘Alien’ than a helpless singing girl.”

Check out some photos from McFarlane’s Oz toyline below.

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