Those expecting the Spawn film to be similar to other R-rated comic book movies like Deadpool and Logan are going to be in for a surprise. The sense of the reboot's darker tone is something that many fans will have picked up on, whether it's through the fact that Blumhouse is producing the film or that Spawn is going to have a "nasty" R-rating. All in all, it looks likely that Spawn is going to offer up something very different.
However, comparisons between Spawn and its R-rated peers that have already seen release have persisted. With Deadpool in particular, fans were treated to a movie about an anti-hero that has done some terrible things, and the film itself eschewed traditional comic movie norms in favor of sticking to a character that many suspected would never receive a faithful adaptation.
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However, Todd McFarlane wants to put those comparisons to bed once and for all. Speaking at ACE Comic Con this weekend, McFarlane discussed the Spawn reboot at length, and explained that his movie is going to be nothing like Deadpool or Logan. In particular, McFarlane wanted to point out that Spawn was going to break from the standard comic book movie tropes, stating "to me, Deadpool was the PG-13 action movie, it just had some naked butts and a couple of f-bombs. Other than that, I thought it was the same PG-13 formula."
Instead, McFarlane has suggested that Spawn's R-rating will come from a very different place. "When I’m talking R, I’m talking that there wouldn’t be a lot of fun, there won’t be any stupid lines in it," McFarlane explained. Spawn will instead focus on making a connection with early fans of the comic in particular, with its creator stating "if you were a ten-year-old and you bought Spawn #1, it’s 25 years later and you’re 35. You’re an adult and I just think my audience has grown up with me."
Suggesting that Deadpool stuck too closely to a PG-13 formula may be a little unfair on the film. After all, Deadpool's adaptation deliberately subverted superhero movie expectations, and building the movie within that traditional framework is part of the reason why the film was able to deliver such biting blows against the genre. Nonetheless, it's clear that Spawn is trying to forge its own path, with McFarlane making it clear that Spawn will not be a superhero movie in the slightest.
It's easy to see why, and an emphasis on the violence and horror of Spawn as a character is clearly going to be at the forefront. Spawn will not speak in the movie reboot, while those expecting an origin story will be left in the dark about how the character came to be. Hopefully, these bold steps will lead to an excellent final film - after all, being a box office and critical success is no doubt a comparison to Deadpool and Logan that McFarlane won't mind in the slightest.