Spawn writer and creator Todd McFarlane swears a Spawn reboot is still in the works and will happen with or without financing from a Hollywood studio.
Todd McFarlane — the comic writer/co-founder of Image Comics — has promised a new cinematic iteration of his most popular character, Spawn, for what feels like ages. What he and most outlets are calling a reboot has gained traction in the last year or two, and he is not letting go of making the long-in-development passion project a reality.
McFarlane spoke with YouTubers BeTerrific (h/t via IGN) at this year’s Toy Fair — where he has cultivated a presence over the years with his Spawn products and memorabilia. He says the reboot is coming along and will get made regardless of whether major studios finance it or not.
According to him, there are people he knows “on the sidelines” who are ready to help and give him the funds he needs to make the movie. His only dilemma is deciding on making it first and then going to Hollywood for distribution or the opposite route, “make a deal” and then go into production:
“Here’s what I can tell you: I have people with money on the sidelines. There are people that are gonna help me make this movie. The question is, do we go into Hollywood, make a deal with Hollywood, and then go and make the production, and then come back? Or do I take the outside money, go make it, and then come back to Hollywood?”
McFarlane conceded there are challenges to making a movie outside the studio system, and he has faced them. One is getting them, as well as talent, to embrace and follow through with “an unknown”:
“The reason is because their lawyers and agents and stuff will say there’s a little bit of an unknown, so we don’t know if they’re gonna get a deal, if they do get a deal, how many theaters they’re gonna get it released in, what kind of advertising campaign, blah blah blah. They like the sure thing. So there’s leverage on the studio side because they know that it may retain some of the talent that is either on or could come onto it.”
Hesitation by Hollywood executives and creative differences, which McFarlane has been very public about, have kept the new Spawn on the shelf. The problem is getting them to buy into his vision of a “scary” hard-R film, he once again explains:
“Here’s what I’m trying to get Hollywood to understand because they still don’t quite get it is I want to do a dead serious, scary movie that happens to be a superhero, right? And so they keep tripping into this superhero part and I wish I could almost take that piece out of it.”
In spite of any difficulties, McFarlane assures “the movie’s coming,” that it’s a matter of “when” and not “if.” He wants to be wise, however, and have a studio attached for the advantage it brings:
“Either way, the movie’s coming. It’s not an ‘if,’ it’s a ‘when.’ I just think that it would be better for the process if we could attach one of the studios in advance, and then go put it out. Because then we’d be able to make an announcement of the release date, and a couple things that matter to the fans, knowing that it’s coming instead of making it and then trying to get the release date later.”
For the longest time, he’s been saying he would write and direct it but, in the interview, McFarlane revealed he handed the script to “another writer-director” for a polish:
“Right now it’s being polished by another writer-director from the script that we handed him. He’s supposed to be done with it here in a few weeks, and then once we sort of go back and forth and tighten it up a little bit, then we’re going into Hollywood and we’re gonna get a yes or no.”
Spawn doesn’t have a release date or a shooting schedule yet, but Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions is involved. Jamie Foxx is slated to play Al Simmons/Spawn with Greg Nicotero designing his look and the physical effects. Jeremy Renner is attached as Det. Twitch Williams, who starts off investigating events linked to Spawn and the forces of darkness.
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