It's been about a year and a half since Todd McFarlane cut a deal with Blumhouse Productions to bring his vision of an R-rated Spawn reboot to life. Yet, we sit here seemingly no closer to the movie getting made, for various reasons. However, according to McFarlane, the recent success of Joker could help to get the project going.
Todd McFarlane, the creator of Spawn, is celebrating a recent milestone, as his Image Comics title passed 301 issues, putting it in The Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running creator-owned superhero comic in history. During a recent interview in honor of the achievement, McFarlane was asked about the status of his long-gestating movie. Here's what he had to say about it, commenting about the recent success of Joker.
"We keep pushing for it. It's interesting cause the Marvel movies, the MCU, has been doing quite well and those are PG-13 movies. I keep trying to convince people that doing a dark, serious comic book movie will work. There's been so much success with these PG-13 movies that there's a resistance to them in Hollywood. But since Joker came out, it proves what I've been saying for over two years to any executives I can talk to. Serious dark comic books can work. R-movies can succeed. So now, all of a sudden, I've been getting a lot of phone calls saying, 'Todd, we need to talk to you about that R-rated dark thing you wanted to do.' So Joker did me a favor."
Indeed, Joker has been an unexpectedly huge success. Starring Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role, the Todd Phillips-directed DC Comics adaptation has grossed a stunning $856 million worldwide, and counting. It's also been met with positive reviews and even took home the top prize at the Venice Film Festival. Not bad for an R-rated comic book movie Warner Bros. initially didn't have confidence in.
Todd McFarlane, meanwhile, wrote the script for his new Spawn movie personally, and intends to direct. This, despite the fact that he's never directed a feature before. Blumhouse supported his vision, but getting the budget needed has proved problematic. Now, as McFarlane tells it, opportunities are opening up, thanks to Joker. The key difference being that Todd Phillips had directed quite a few movies before making his DC adaptation, as the man behind The Hangover trilogy, as well as Due Date and War Dogs.
Jamie Foxx is attached to star in the title role, with Hawkeye actor Jeremy Renner also attached as a lead character, Twitch Williams. In the past, Todd McFarlane has compared the movie he wishes to make to Jaws and sees it as more of a horror movie, not a traditional superhero flick. It certainly doesn't hurt that Joker was also rather non-traditional. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further updates on the project are made available. This news comes to us via the Phoenix New Times.