It’s hard not to get sucked into the enthusiasm that comes from artist-creator Todd McFarlane. When he talks about a project, quite often you find yourself caught up in his excitement and you tend to think that any moment now that oft-delays “Spawn” film is actually going to see the light of day. But then, reality sets in and suddenly the “Spawn” reboot that has been talked about for years feels like it’s never going to happen. Well, apparently things are back on track and the film has “Joker” to thank for that.
According to an interview in the Phoenix New Times, McFarlane was asked about the status of his long-in-development “Spawn” reboot that sees the artist take on the dual role of writer-director on a low-budget, R-rated, gritty take on his comic book creation. Last year, news started rolling out that McFarlane had signed with Blumhouse to produce the film and that stars Jeremy Renner and Jamie Foxx were lined up as the leads.
But then earlier this year, the writer-director began talking about how there were behind-the-scenes issues that seem to be preventing “Spawn” from returning to the big screen, with McFarlane butting heads creatively with folks. Add to that, the recent drama surrounding Jeremy Renner (which is far too complicated and speculative to get into now), and it’s clear that “Spawn” seems about as far away from coming to the big screen now than ever before.
Alas, McFarlane says that there is new life, thanks in no small part to “Joker” and that film’s box office success.
“We keep pushing for it,” said McFarlane. “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.”
He continued, “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.”
As mentioned above, McFarlane is always enthusiastic, so there’s no way we’ll take what he says without a healthy grain of salt. However, it does make sense that studios would be more open to his film considering the effect “Joker” has had on the film landscape. So, we’ll just have to wait and see.