The Spawn Reboot is still very much alive, but creator Todd McFarlane has been talking about the movie long enough now that we are starting to wonder if it is ever, really going to happen. It turns out part of the delay has to do with the fact that Todd McFarlane is totally committed to directing the movie himself. Not only that, but according to him, it will be a comic book movie, but definitely not like the first Spawn movie was and most certainly not like most of the comic book movies we are currently seeing released.
Todd McFarlane recently spoke with Comicbook.com about the project and offered a pretty significant update. Some of his comments mirror things that he has said before, but he goes into a lot of detail about what he plans to do with the movie and how he is planning to approach it. He assures that it is slowly moving forward but also promises that it will be an R-rated horror movie, as opposed to a more traditional superhero movie, and definitely won't be intended for the same audience that Marvel and DC are going after. Here is what he had to say.
"It's slowly moving forward, just trying to put all the pieces together both from an artistic and a financial. The intent is trying to finance as much as possible internally and then finding partners who will help in the production of it as we move forward. I can argue getting the money might be harder than getting everybody signed off on the story. What I can tell you is what I've told everybody else: it will be a definite R rated. I'm not going for the same crowd that Marvel and DC is going for; I'm going for the same crowd that horror film releases going for. People who want to take their boyfriend or girlfriend or go out with the girls and go to the movies and get spooked."
In the past, Todd McFarlane has talked about directing the new Spawn movie himself but now it is apparently a make-or-break part of the deal, which is part of the reason for the holdup. Spawn is his creation and he has been vocal about his dissatisfaction with the 1997 live-action Spawn movie, so it makes sense that he would want to be in control this time around. But he also appears to have very realistic expectations in terms of not over-inflating the budget and knowing his audience for the movie.
"I've been living with the idea for so long that I wanted to direct it, but I knew that if I gave it to Hollywood and they spent a lot of money on it then just from a practical point of view, it wouldn't be fair for me to then say 'I want to direct.' It's not good business to spend $80 million on movie and then give it to somebody who's not known for directing movies -- but if you can make a movie for $10 million, they'll get a lot of less experienced directors to do those movies. So I knew I needed to keep the story and the budget both tight so that when I go to Hollywood and I say 'I have to direct it, that's not even a negotiation, so if you can't accept that, then the conversation is over quickly,' then once they understand the scope and size and budget of it, they're like 'Oh, okay. It's not like Todd's coming in here asking for $100 million and then saying let me direct my first movie. He's saying 'Give me $10 million to make a little horror movie and let's see if we can scare some people. We've done that tons of times.'"
Recently on an episode of AMC's geeking out, Todd McFarlane also stated that the movie won't have a supervillain, as well as saying that he sees Spawn as something of a "boogeyman" in this version. He also compared this version of the character to Jaws and promised we won't be seeing him in a rubber suit. That certainly goes against the typical comic book movie prototype, but if movies like Deadpool have proved anything it is that people will show up for these movies as long as they are good, it doesn't matter if they are different. It also proved that R-rated isn't an issue. 2016 was also a tremendous year for studio horror movies, like Lights Out and Don't Breathe, both of which carried modest budgets, like Todd McFarlane is suggesting for Spawn, but wound up making a massive profit for the studio. So what he seems to have in mind could definitely work.
The screenplay for this Spawn remake movie had been done for a while now and was also written by McFarlane, so it really is his baby. Given the popularity of comic book movies at the moment, it seems like someone would want to partner up to make this movie, especially considering that they wouldn't need to put up $100,000 million budget to make it happen. At this point, it still sounds like the movie isn't happening anytime soon, but if Todd McFarlane has his way, we will eventually be seeing a very scary new Spawn movie.