For years now, “Spawn” creator Todd McFarlane has been doing his best to get his comic book creation back on the big screen. Initially adapted for film in 1997, the first “Spawn” movie was less than stellar and seemed destined to doom the franchise for years to come. But in the decades since, the character has remained popular, and McFarlane has been persistently trying to get his version of a reboot film made.
In a recent interview with Forbes, McFarlane explained the current status of the “Spawn” reboot. You may remember that all McFarlane has been after is a studio willing to finance his micro-budget horror version of the superhero story, written and directed by himself. Given how studios love established IP and micro-budget horror, this seems like an easy decision. So, why the hell has McFarlane had such a hard time getting this film made? The filmmaker opens up about that, specifically.
“There’s a couple things,” he explained. “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. 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 [Foxx] and Jeremy [Renner] – to add the quality to it.”
McFarlane added, “My goal is to continue to add those kind of quality people at all levels. 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.”
When it comes to rumors that “Spawn” was set to begin production with Blumhouse, starring Foxx and Renner, but then hit a snag, McFarlane is quick to point out that you shouldn’t believe every report.
“Those reports were not quite accurate,” explained the filmmaker. “There is someone – a major talent behind the camera – we had our eyes on and it didn’t work out. It happens. But we didn’t lose anyone, because we never had them. So we’re on the trail of someone else now. It would be a giant headline if we can get the person we’re looking at.”
He continued, “That said, we’re not idle. Jamie [Foxx] is maybe even more enthusiastic about doing this than I am. Even if it’s only two of us, it will be Jamie and myself!”
As for the possibility that the financing that the filmmaker wants for “Spawn” could come from streaming services, who seem willing to shell out large sums of cash for projects attached to IP, McFarlane said, “We’ve had those conversations. 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. If it works out, we can always bring it over to television.”
So, will we ever see a new “Spawn” film? Todd McFarlane is as positive as ever, even if he has to will it into existence himself. What shape the film might take and who might star in it? That’s a whole different question.