Todd McFarlane is going to make sure that the long-awaited reboot of 1997's Spawn moves forward with the R-rated script he wrote, even if that means that he has to turn to crowdsourcing platforms like Kickstarter to see it through. Over ten years in the making, the Spawn reboot will star Jamie Foxx as the titular Spawn and Jeremy Renner as Twitch Williams. and Blumhouse will handle the film's production. McFarlane himself is expected to direct.
Spawn was created by McFarlane in 1992, during the heyday of dark comic book antiheroes. Centering on Al Simmons, a CIA assassin who is betrayed and sent to hell to be reborn as a hellspawn with demonic superpowers, the series saw success due to its darker nature. It recently celebrated its 300th issue and was previously adapted into an infamous 1997 live-action film starring Michael Jai White in the title role. The film was poorly received, even by its main star, and McFarlane has been hoping to redeem Spawn ever since. McFarlane penned the reboot's script himself and wants to direct it as a low-budget, hard R-rated superhero horror film with no humor and no common superhero tropes. Unfortunately, despite McFarlane's enthusiasm for the project, the planned cinematic reboot of Spawn hasn't progressed much since its initial announcement.
Speaking to a crowd at San Diego Comic-Con, McFarlane addressed the issues that are holding up the reboot's production. According to McFarlane (via Comicbook.com), the problem is money. Specifically, the executives that need to sign off on the film's financing are unsure about how much they want to follow through with McFarlane's current script. All those executives, McFarlane explains, "get to have a say in it. Like I said, it's a little bit of an uphill battle, because again, I just want to do this little dark 'R' movie, and they like those PG-13 success movies." He isn't willing to compromise just to make it more marketable, and, he hinted that he may instead turn to Kickstarter to get the $20 million he needs, saying:
Look I am relentless, I'm like a dog with a bone. I will get there, I promise you. I will get there. Because I will beat the system. Here's what I'll do: I'll do it as a Kickstarter... and here's the Kickstarter: I need 20 million people to give me a dollar. And I will make this movie, and when I get the money back I'll return the dollar back to you. And you will be my producers... and all I'll need is the distribution. That's doable today.
The Spawn reboot was originally meant to begin filming in 2018, but the constant script changes have stalled production. McFarlane has been very open about how much he intends to stick to his creative vision for the Spawn reboot, even saying that he will leave the project if the script is changed too much.
Hopefully McFarlane's public statements at Comic-Con will put pressure on the film's financial backers, but that remains to be seen. The Spawn reboot is a longtime coming. At the very least, fans can be happy that, one way or another, his story will be told the way it should be this time around.
Source: Todd McFarlane (via Comicbook.com)