Another day, another update on the Spawn reboot. Creator Todd McFarlane has intended to make a new R-rated big screen version of his Image Comics creation for years now and, at one point, made a deal with Blumhouse Productions to get it done. McFarlane wrote the script and intends to direct the movie himself, despite never having directed before. Now, McFarlane reveals that another filmmaker is helping him rewrite the script.
The comic book icon recently appeared at Toy Fair 2019. During an interview, Todd McFarlane explained that an unnamed writer/director is polishing the Spawn script. Once that’s done, they’re going to decide how best to proceed, be it as a production that partners with a studio after the movie is made, or attempting to cut a deal with a major studio first. Here’s what McFarlane had to say about it.
“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. 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, 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?”
Assuming Blumhouse Productions is still involved, they tend to produce low-cost movies such as The Purge or Get Out, then cut deals with other studios for distribution. Blumhouse has a deal with Universal Pictures, but they do often look elsewhere if Universal passes on a project. So that could certainly be an option. Speaking further, McFarlane assured that the movie is going to happen, one way or another, especially after the success of the R-Rated Joker movie.
“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 trying to get the release date later.”
It was previously revealed that Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx is attached as Al Simmons, the man who becomes the titular character. Hawkeye actor Jeremy Renner is also attached to play Twitch Williams, a cop character from the Spawn comics. McFarlane, when asked if it’s difficult to get actors to commit to the project without a studio on board, admitted it’s been a challenge.
“Yes. And 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.”
Sadly, for the time being, it sounds like an awful lot needs to be worked out on Spawn before cameras will roll on this one. But Todd McFarlane seems determined to make this project happen on his terms. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. Feel free to check out the full interview with McFarlane from the BeTerrific YouTube channel for yourself.