‘Spawn’ Reboot Aiming for 2014 Shoot; Will be a Horror Movie, Not a Superhero Movie

Published 2 years ago by , Updated August 27th, 2013 at 9:31 pm,

Spawn reboot filming in 2014 Spawn Reboot Aiming for 2014 Shoot; Will be a Horror Movie, Not a Superhero Movie

Thanks to the ongoing superhero craze, comic book adaptations have been flying off the development shelves and into production, for better or worse, and it certainly seems to be a profitable path to take. Last year, three of the top ten highest-grossing movies released were comic book adaptations, and series like The Walking Dead and Arrow are fast becoming tent-pole shows for their respective networks.

However, while heroes like Thor and Captain America are building their own franchises within the Marvel movie universe and the Man of Steel is already gearing up for another fight in Superman vs. Batman, the less kid-friendly comic book characters have had a tougher time of it. Standalone movies for Deadpool, Venom and Daredevil are all either treading water or sinking to the bottom, due to their hopeful screenwriters and stars trying to push for R-rated superhero movies.

Todd McFarlane’s movie reboot of his comic creation Spawn is another project that’s been talked about for many years, first as a sequel to the 1997 movie which starred Michael Jai White in the lead role, then later as a full reboot. Now it seems that Spawn could be the R-rated anti-hero to lead the comic book bad boy revolution, as McFarlane says that he’s set deadlines to turn in a script by the end of the year, and to begin filming in 2014.

Speaking to The Gate, McFarlane admitted that what has recently been slowing down Spawn‘s development is his own preoccupation, rather than lack of interest from studios or financiers. Ever since Jamie Foxx, who will soon be starring as Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, admitted at Comic-Con that he’s “aggressively pursuing” the lead role in Spawn, the weight of an Oscar-winning actor has been on Spawn’s side. All that McFarlane needs to do now is finish the script:

“The thing that keeps slowing it down is that the negotiation I’ve done is I write, produce, direct, but I’ve got to push a lot of my other endeavors off to the side so I can just get tunnel vision on it. Everybody at my company is now going, ‘We’ve got to find Todd the time to finish all this.’”

Since the titular character of Spawn, also known as Al Simmons, burns to death in a fiery inferno before returning to Earth as a disfigured but extremely deadly hellspawn, there’s plenty in the source material that could earn an R rating in a faithful movie adaptation. However, since movies with more mature ratings inevitably snip off some of the potential box office take from younger audiences, this would make Spawn more of a financial risk.

Spawn comic panel Spawn Reboot Aiming for 2014 Shoot; Will be a Horror Movie, Not a Superhero Movie

When Deadpool screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick pitched their R-rated movie, they argued that the risks of an R rating could be offset by making the movie for a modest $50 million, and McFarlane seems to have something similar in mind for Spawn:

“I think it’s a quick shoot. It’s not going to be a giant budget with a lot of special effects, it’s going to be more of a horror movie and a thriller movie, not a superhero one. I’ve got so many people phoning now that I’ve got to get it done. I’ve made some promises to people this year.”

If Dan Aykroyd’s ongoing Ghostbusters 3 campaign has taught us anything, it’s that the driving forces behind potential movies aren’t always reliable when it comes to quoting potential shooting dates or release plans. With that in mind, McFarlane did say that his current goal is to deliver a finished script to his producers by the end of the year, and to begin filming in 2014. He also managed to talk up the interest from Foxx as much as possible, without actually naming the actor:

“We’ve had some big names… come to the office and go ‘We want to be in it.’ Sometimes they give me their pitch, I give them my pitch, I go, ‘We can get in it, this is how it goes’, and so those types of actors – Academy Award guys – they’re going, ‘As soon as that script’s done, we’re going.’ So once we get this thing done, we’ll get it off the ground with some big names.”

With all these plurals floating around, McFarlane almost makes it sound like he’s been approached by multiple Oscar-winning (or Oscar-nominated) actors who are all fighting over the role of Spawn. Perhaps that is true, but Foxx’s name alone should be enough to get studios interested in a Spawn reboot with a reasonably low budget and an emphasis on horror and thriller elements rather than caped superhero antics (though Spawn does have a cape, so he’ll fit in with his mainstream comic book movie buddies in that respect).

Do you have faith that a Spawn reboot is really on the way, or will you only believe it when the cameras start rolling? Tell us if you like the idea of a scary movie approach with Foxx in the lead.


If Spawn does begin filming in 2014 then it could be in theaters by 2015. We’ll keep you updated on any further news.

Source: The Gate [via THR]

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
TAGS: Spawn
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  1. in the description for this article it should say “he plans to make it more of a horror rather than a big budget movie.” or something like that.

  2. A horror film or thriller film? Ehhh, I don’t know….

  3. At least it will be something new. There aren’t many good superhero/horror movies out there. And I love Spawn. They should go ahead and get Fede Alvarez or someone with a good creative mind to shepherd this thing.

    • Fede Alvarez? That would be pretty cool :)

    • Yeah, I’m not so sure about McFarlane’s write-produce-direct approach, especially since he’s never directed a feature before.

      • McFarlane’s always had a huge ego. I’m not normally negative about much but he’s proven on many occasions that he isn’t a strong writer. Also, he BS’s on a Dan Ackroyd, Mark Millar level… I have no faIth that this will happen. Shame, because Jamie Foxx’s interest is a real positive.

      • Todd Mcfarlane wrote-produce-direct the first spawn movie back in 1998 and look how a mess that turned out? I’m with you to have no faith in him because he’s starting the same cycle all over again and it seems as though he doesn’t want anyone touching his spawn franchise except him. He’s full of himself and I say let him destroy the franchise a second time around so the world can see how much of a moron he really is maybe that will humble him enough to let someone else handle it. With social media the way it is today he’ll hear the world roaring.

        • McFarlane executive produced the 1997 film. That’s all. He didn’t write the screenplay or direct the film.

  4. If he makes it something similar to that short movie PUNISHER style of anti-hero hero its going to be brutal and one of my favourite movies, but if its just horor like Spawn being the bad guy in the story evil caracter that is being hunted than it won’t be interesting at all

    • Spawn will never be the bad guy because he’s an anti-hero that fights the forces of both Heaven and Hell. He started as a leader of an army in Hell but betrayed them and became Hell’s enemy number one.

  5. I hope it happens.

    I don’t know why studios get scared about releasing R rated comic book movies. Just because kids won’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an audience.

    Paranormal Activity isn’t aimed at children but look at the money that franchise has made at the box office.

    • Plus with a budget of 50 million, I think the box office gross can double or triple that, hell maybe’ll it’d reach 200 million. I can see that happening.

    • It depends on what mainstream audiences want.

      The Paranormal Activity franchise is made pretty cheap, that’s why it triples it’s money. I just don’t see a Spawn film working with a low budget (do to the effects necessary to make the character work).

      Superhero movies are something mainstream audiences just expect to be family friendly. An R rating means a superhero film they aren’t used to, so they aren’t interested in checking it out. Also, a lot of mainstream audiences go to superhero movies because that’s something they can take their kids to. Like it or not, a PG 13 rating means bigger audience, which means more money. Now, I’m not saying our beloved R rated franchise’s should go PG 13 to make more money than they need (Terminator, looking at you) but there are certain genre’s that some people just see as one rating. An R rating means something different, and different can be a turn off to casual movie goers.

      Don’t get me wrong, there are some R rated comics that I’d love to see on the big screen, and there are R rated comic book movies that I’ve enjoyed quite a bit (Dredd was a lot of fun, and I don’t think it would have been nearly as good as a PG 13 film). But unfortunately, most of those films just don’t do well at the box office. It’s not the rating that’s the turn off to studio’s, it’s the genre the rating is with. I don’t like it, but the reality is studio’s prefer to go to characters that will make more money statistically, and shutter at the thought of “different” types of movies. Comic books like Watchmen and Dredd were only made into movies because SO many people pushed for them.

      • Kick ass worked pretty well, albeit on the DVD market instead of in theatres but still you get my point.

        • True, but the marketing helped Kick Ass a lot. It promoted the film (as it is) as a dark comedy. It looked like more of a Super hero spoof than something actually based off of a comic book.

          The R rated comic book movies that bomb at the box office are usually the ones that are marketed as a normal superhero film, but rated R (like Watchmen).

      • People complain about Hollywood only making the same type of movies but then they won’t go see something different, which makes the studios only put out the same type of movies… A vicious circle.

  6. I’m all for, I really like the idea of a horror thriller instead of another superhero film, especially if Jamie Foxx is on board. Hopefully he finishes the script and they accept.

    • Plus, if it all works out, that’s another film for 2015! It’s going to be a crazy year, cannot wait!

    • for some reason i dont find jamie foxx intimidating i always saw him as a comedian.
      i think Idris Elba would be alot better for the role

  7. I would sooner slam my head in a car door than sit through a Spawn movie. Image Comics creators and their legacy are vile. Those people currently sit at the head of DC Comics and they are destroying that company. They are all about style over substance.


    I said it on the last “SPAWN” article and I will say it again…. this guy is a “Right Nutter” crazy as they come!!

    “A HORROR MOVIE”????? “NOT A SUPERHERO MOVIE”????? what a whack job, that’s like making Captain America a serial killer! This guy just needs to give it up! I want a great superhero spawn movie as much as the next CBM fan, but not a dumbed down version, a “slasher” flick NO HE DID NOT SAY THAT but Cmon ANYONE who thinks this guy does not have a cpl screws loose is JUST AS WHACKED OUT AS HIM!

    Hey McFarlane, GO AWAY< you don't need to get a headline every cpl of months! YOUR JUST NOT THAT IMPORTANT!

    • Spawn has horror roots bro.

    • Then you don’t know anything, and I mean NOTHING, about Spawn. He’s no hero, and definitely a anti-hero. In order for this film drive in hard the original source material,(the comics) it needs to be very gritty and dark. Because Spawn is in fact a very depressing, and tragic character, who sometimes finds himself on both sides of the gun.

  9. The problem with R rated superhero films is that they’re a hard sell, which is a shame since sometimes they’re pretty good. I particularly liked Watchmen and Dredd. But both didn’t do very well at the box office.

    I’d love to see a serious Spawn movie, but after so many R rated comic book films bombing, I can’t imagine studios putting much money into it (and with a character like Spawn, there needs to be a decent budget and effects for the character to be movie friendly).

    • Agreed.

  10. I dont think he sayin slasher film. More along the lines of a R rated anti hero dark movie

  11. Spawn could be great. Horror elements are already in the anti hero. Plus, many people are sad or angry. This movie could tap into those emotions.

  12. Reading this I couldn’t help but think of Iron Man hunt teenagers looking for sex and drugs by Camp Crystal Lake, or Giant Man destroying Tokyo, or Superman going on a killing spree every Halloween looking for Super Girl.

  13. 2015 is fine if they get it in like Febuary-march

  14. sounds interesting, ive always loved spawn and would kinda like to see where a more horror theme to the movie would go, I would love to see more horror based comic book movies as well, especially since ive just finished catching up on crossed and would die (no pun intended) to see that story on the big screen

  15. Go back to drawing comics!!

  16. lol hollywoodland strikes again

  17. NO Jamie Foxx please. There’s other black guy on the earth.

  18. To be honest the thing most concerning to me is he wants to direct.

    • +1,000,000,000!

  19. I rather Spawn be a vigilante punisher or dark superhero than some kind of hellish monster or crazy anti-hero with no purpose but just killing.

  20. Give it to David Fincher and make it along the same lines as “Seven” & “Fight Club”!!!

  21. FINALLY! The studios are warming up to the idea of an “R” rated fantasy saga with an African-american lead? Wow. I guess these times-are-a-changin’. Jamie Foxx is cool. But Al Simmons is INTENSE. Who else would you cast? I would go for IDRIS ELBA.

  22. i can only see michael jai white for spawn/

    • Agreed make a sequel not a reboot.

      • Why? His acting is horrendous. He looked the part in 1997, but that is it. Someone said Idris Elba, now THAT would be a good spawn.

  23. The comicbook is been around for years now. A lot of characters , big story and so on … If you are not gona make it a big budget movie , then don’t do it. Because capturing the essence of spawn you need some really cool CG. As a fun of spawn I agree it has to be R rated but at the same time , make it worth it. Dont do the film just for the money Mr McFarlane , do it fot your funs.

    • F is for friends who do stuff together. U is for you and me. N is for anywhere, anytime at all, down here at the deep blue sea.

      • F is for Fire that burns down the whole town.
        U is for URANIUM…BOMBS!
        N is for No survivors when you’re-


        • That’s not how you sing the song

    • DC should make a W.I.L.D.C.A.T.S. movie

  24. It’s difficult to believe anything Todd McFarlane says, so I’ll just say that I hope it happens but I’m not holding my breath.

    To me, there are red flags all over this thing. I’d also like to know exactly what he means when he says “horror movie” and “thriller”. I suppose as long as he gets the right people to help him do it, it could be good. If he tries to do it all himself, however, I just don’t think it’ll work.

  25. The Original “Blade” – Low Budget, Massive box office. Who is to say that this wont work as a lower budget enterprise. Todd McFarlane really come across a little arrogant and self involved in the few interviews I’ve seen with him – at least with regard to his ability to direct a tent pole feature (or any feature for that matter.) That being said, giving Spawn the opportunity he was denied with the first feature can only do the character Justice.

    Spawn comic books weren’t always that easy to come by in South Africa in the 90’s. BUT they could be found and even here Spawn’s popularity is staggering. Then again Rodriguez is a Superstar here and you have no idea who he is even in his own home town of Detroit.
    I reckon they should give it a GO… Spawn Reborn

  26. looking forward to it

  27. Sounds like more of a pitch to the big studios, if I’m honest. “I want to do something different with the superhero genre,” and “I have multiple Academy Award winning actors vying for the title role,” and “I just need a clear schedule and I will devote all my time to it.”