1997's Spawn was a decent film that still has its fans, but it never registered upon its initial release, and New Line Cinema never moved forward on a proposed sequel after lackluster VHS and DVD sales. Todd McFarlane, creator of the supernatural comic book upon which Spawn is based, has plans to bring the character back to the big screen with an Untitled Spawn Reboot. And for the first time, he has come forward to talk about his plans for the upcoming cinematic reintroduction of this popular superhero of sorts.
Todd McFarlane talks Spawn reboot
McFarlane, who is writing the screenplay, hopes to make a dark, low budget action film, and compares his vision to Alien and Jaws.
Here is what Todd had to say:
"One of the things that happened is after the first movie came out I started the toy company and sort of got distracted. But these days, as you might imagine, with the [Hollywood] success of Batman
and some of the Marvel titles, everybody's on a comic-book buying binge and the phone constantly rings. My attitude toward it is I can't get my head wrapped around some big special-effects movie with a supervillain in there. There will be plenty of those and they've done pretty well. I've always seen Spawn
as being cut from a different cloth. It's more of an urban, psychological story that's being told. The answer I've given the last few years is that Spawn
should be a small-budget movie in which the only thing that's out of the ordinary is this thing that intellectually we know as Spawn
and there would only be a handful of people that see it. I call it "it" because it never talks, it's just a force of nature. Really, the story revolves around the people who are trying to decide: "Is the ghost alive? Is the shadow actually moving?" When I give that pitch, some of the executives scratch their heads. To a lot of people, a movie where the [title] character doesn't talk doesn't make any sense. There have been a few movies like that. "Alien
," you know, that guy didn't say much. Or " Jaws
," the shark didn't have too many speaking lines. "Jaws
" is the closest example, the movie wasn't about the shark, it's about the people chasing the shark."
McFarlane went onto talk about the film he is currently trying to get made:
"The idea I pitch is that the movie shouldn't be about superheroes and laser beams - it's about the id of people and the group of people caught up in the story and seeing things out of the corner of their eye. And when I give the pitch, I also say that I will write and direct it. There's the nonnegotiable pieces of it. Then I have four suitors who say, "Yeah, cool, when do we start?" It means we're not looking for a $20-million actor and we're not looking for a big-budget extravaganza with lots of special effects. The story that I pitch is very tight, very contained, but done right. I want a movie that gets people's hearts racing. I want to scare them. Spawn
, done right, is a creepy character. Instead of a superhero who just stands there. That's why Batman
was always the coolest of all the good guys. I never had one moment of affinity for [Superman
]. He was a Boy Scout right from the moment he hit the ground. He was always polite and said the right thing. I never felt like he was in danger because he could spin planets on his finger. Batman
is a guy who could die if you threw him out of a window. More than that, even though he had women throwing themselves at him and millions of dollars, all he wanted to do was to wait until 3 a.m. and the pitch of black and say, "time to put the costume on and scare the bad guys." I relate way more to that guy. Spawn
untethered, without the corporation behind it. Batman
without limits, Batman who kills the Joker."
To read more with Todd McFarlane,
Spawn was released August 1st, 1997 and stars Michael Jai White, John Leguizamo, Martin Sheen, Theresa Randle, Nicol Williamson, D.B. Sweeney, Melinda Clarke, Miko Hughes. The film is directed by Mark A.Z. Dippé.
Untitled Spawn Reboot was released in 2013.