In 1997, Michael Jai White starred in the live-action adaptation of comic book creator Todd McFarlane's most popular creation, Spawn. The film did not fare well with critics or at the box office, mostly because the special effects of that time could not do justice to the character's story. Now, McFarlane is determined to make a Spawn reboot that he personally writes and directs. In an interview with CBR, White revealed McFarlane has some strange ideas for the planned movie.
"[McFarlane has] been trying to get a new movie up and going for 23 years so I don't know. [Laughs] The last time I saw him, he was telling me about his idea of Spawn being ethereal fog that you don't see, like Jaws, and he strikes and you never see him and I'm like 'Okay, good luck with that!' Personally, I wish him well, that would be a major investment."
In the comics, Spawn started out as Al Simmons, a highly decorated member of the secret service. Following a betrayal by his partner, Simmons is sent to hell upon his death. There he strikes a deal with the king demon to return to Earth one last time to see his wife. Upon reaching Earth, Simmons finds his appearance has been changed to that of a hellspawn, and he has many new superpowers gifted by hell's necroplasm running through his body.
It's the kind of story that needs a great deal of CGI to tell convincingly. Spawn's appearance alone, while looking extremely badass on paper, can look cartoonish if not recreated properly through special effects. But from White's account, McFarlane seems to be going another route, where Spawn's physical form is only hinted at, and his presence is felt through a fog-like substance. The last time a film tried such a tactic was when Galactus showed up as a giant cloud in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and audiences were definitely not on board with the idea.
Making a superhero movie where the superhero never fully shows up seems strange, but perhaps Todd McFarlane has decided to change his approach since then. After all, it was recently announced that Jamie Foxx will be playing Spawn in McFarlane's new movie. It would not make any sense to cast a big star like Foxx, and then not show his face in the film. For his part, White is skeptical of the idea of McFarlane directing a Spawn movie.
"I don't know Todd to be a director at all. It's kind of like Stan Lee: He created the character but he doesn't direct him and I guess somebody would have to pony up a lot of money for Todd McFarlane to direct for his first time directing this movie idea that he has. I've heard about Jamie Foxx starring in it and wish them well. I don't know, maybe it continues because this is what people like to hear from Todd McFarlane. He can get attention by promising another Spawn; I don't get it."
This news arrives from CBR.com.