We may finally see the long-discussed Spawn reboot go before cameras this year, so says Todd McFarlane. This project has been in the works officially for several years now, with Blumhouse Productions, the studio behind Paranormal Activity, The Purge and Get Out signing up to produce it. Things have been slow going, but McFarlane says that his phone has been ringing off the hook thanks to the success of Joker.

Todd McFarlane, who created Spawn for his company Image Comics, recently appeared at Fan Expo in Vancouver. During a panel, the subject of the movie came up. McFarlane spoke very positively about the situation and said, not for the first time, that Joker has effectively changed the game. Here's what he had to say about it.

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"Everybody in Hollywood wants an R-rated, dark comic book movie, and Spawn is at the top of their list. The phone calls are coming in fast and rapid. I've been talking to a couple of Academy Award people, I've got the investors getting lined up. It's changed ever since the Joker from being me begging them to do Spawn dark and creepy, to them asking. So I'm telling you it will happen this year. This year. And I will direct it. I will be directing it."

One of the sticking points for Todd McFarlane throughout this process has been creative control. Todd McFarlane wrote the screenplay and, since he created the character and has substantial experience as a writer, that makes sense. What has made things seemingly challenging though is his desire to direct the movie himself. This, despite the fact that McFarlane has no experience as a director.

Be that as it may, he is still insistent on sitting in the director's chair and seems confident it will happen. As for these "Academy Award people" he speaks of, Jamie Foxx (Ray) has been attached to play the role Al Simmons, aka Spawn, for some time. Jeremy Renner (Avengers: Endgame) is also attached to play Twitch Williams, the human lead. Given that Foxx won an Oscar and that Renner has been nominated for one, it seems they would qualify. Beyond that, it's not clear who McFarlane may be referencing. Whatever the case may be, things seem to be moving in the right direction.

The acclaimed comic book creator previously likened his take to Jaws and says he aims to make it for $10 million or less. That's still a sizable investment for an untested director, but a fraction of what other superhero movies cost. Joker, a very gritty take on the DC Comics character, grossed more than $1 billion at the global box office and saw Joaquin Phoenix win the Best Actor Oscar, with the movie earning a Best Picture nomination. Given the lack of high-profile comic book properties available outside of DC and Marvel, Spawn does indeed seem like a possible hot-ticket item right now. This news was previously reported by Comicbook.com.