Todd McFarlane accepts culpability for a new movie starring his creation Spawn having problems getting made.
Spawn creator Todd McFarlane is prepping his hellion mercenary’s return to screens but it hasn’t been easy. Despite getting Oscar-caliber star power with Jamie Foxx and Jeremy Renner tentatively attached, major studios aren’t sold on forking over funding to produce what is pitched as an R-rated superhero horror film.
McFarlane shared recently with Forbes (hat-tip here to ComicBookMovie.com) that the script he wrote is the biggest stepping stone in persuading a studio to bite, and he believes that’s on him. He commented:
“I wrote the first draft of the screenplay… If I’d done my job and written a screenplay that mattered, that would have sold it. I’m culpable on that end to start with.”
On the other end, McFarlane is clear he wants to direct, something he has never done before but is itching to do:
“People ask why not a TV show instead of a movie? Part of it is I’ve never directed a feature film. I had an itch to scratch. This might be my only chance. I’ve held on to the rights to attach myself to it.”
He also acknowledges that studios are cautious of putting their chips behind an unproven filmmaker. That’s why McFarlane took strides to have pieces in place – such as a producer and cast. It will make him look like less of a risk but added it’s all preliminary. Time will tell if Spawn moves forward:
“Then there’s the fear and risk on the financing side with a first time writer, first time director. That’s why I went to get Jason Blum to produce, and attached Jamie and Jeremy – to add the quality to it… The more I can add those people, the less I become relevant as a risk. Hopefully the studios will see that I am planning accordingly and going about this in a businesslike way to reduce that back-end risk, and at some point, we’ll move forward.”
McFarlane said late in 2019 the new Spawn would get made no matter what, but he addressed at that time as well the troubles with securing financing.
He also said that he “handed” his script to an unnamed writer-director “for a polish” that was supposed to take a few weeks. No update was offered to Forbes.
Spawn’s last journey through Hell was a feature film in 1997 starring Michael Jai White in the lead, Martin Sheen as villain Jason Wynn, and John Leguizamo as the Clown. Capitalizing on what a craze the character and Image Comics was at the time, the summer blockbuster attempt was a critical dud, dragged especially for its primitive CGI effects. It has managed to gain cult status over time.
Aside from a fan film in 2014 (the well-received Spawn: The Recall), there hasn’t been much locomotion on an updated adaptation.
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