Comic book fans know Spawn as a badass anti-hero who mixed religion and superheroism into a powerful, immensely popular mix that re-wrote the graphic novel template in the early '90s. Movie fans, unfortunately, remember the character as the star of a 1997 suckfest that has been largely forgotten. Now, creator Todd McFarlane is finalizing plans to bring the character some respect on the big-screen with a new movie.
“With Spawn, I have five legitimate offers sitting on the table,” the writer/artist/entrepreneur revealed to MTV News recently. “Ever since ‘Iron Man,’ they’ve been phoning every day.”
At this point, McFarlane explained, he’s trying to decide between two options: “If I go with the lower-budget movie, they’ll let me direct it. And if I go bigger, than I sit in the producer’s chair; if the budget’s too big, they’re not going to give me the chance at [directing] it. So I’m trying to decide whether I want to go big production, bigger money, bigger marketing -- or just do something that’s a little bit smaller, more rock ‘n’ roll, and the way I’ve had it in my brain for the last five years.”
If McFarlane does direct the film, it will be his cinematic debut behind the camera.
So, what exactly is floating around inside McFarlane’s brain? A dark, realistic crime flick styled after several classic films -- and most certainly not starring John Leguizamo as an obese clown. “The thing I’ve had in my head for a long time isn’t a big comic-book movie,” he explained. “Everything’s real; it’s like ‘The Departed,’ ‘L.A. Confidential’ or something like that -- and there’s only one thing out of the ordinary in the story I’ve written, which is the thing people know as Spawn. And only a few people see it.”
“To me, it’s more along the lines of ‘Jaws,’ where you didn’t see [the shark] for half the movie, and then you caught glimpses of him,” McFarlane said of Spawn, the only supernatural character in his vision. “Jaws was somewhat fantastic in that movie, and to keep it low-budget I can’t have spaceships and super-villains and all that stuff.”
“You’re not going to get an [origin story] with a rubber costume,” McFarlane explained of Spawn’s new look. “As a matter-of-fact, you’ll never see Spawn in his full regalia, because to me, he’s more of a sentinel, like a living shadow. I’ve shown the artwork [to potential investors] and he’s all black; he doesn’t look exactly like what people have seen in the comic book.”
What do you think of McFarlane’s ideas for a gritty “Spawn” reboot? Would you be willing to give a new movie another chance?