Spawn creator Todd McFarlane will begin principal photography on his upcoming movie reboot in February 2018. The first adaptation of McFarlane's supernatural superhero comic series was in 1997, with Mark A.Z. Dippé's Spawn film starring Michael Jai White as the eponymous character. Although the movie managed to gross over $87 million at the worldwide box office, just over double its estimated production budget of $40 million (which mostly went towards the movie's visual effects), it wasn't enough to immediately justify a sequel, especially when coupled with the film's negative reviews.
The Spawn franchise was stuck in development hell for two decades, moving from a sequel to a reboot following the resurgence of comic book movies in the mid-2000s. It wasn't until this past summer, at San Diego Comic-Con 2017, that things finally started to move forward. McFarlane has partnered with horror/thriller studio Blumhouse Productions - known for films such as The Purge and Get Out - to bring an R-rated Spawn reboot onto the big screen, with McFarlane assuming both writing and directing duties. And it looks like things have been moving smoothly, with filming scheduled to being relatively soon.
McFarlane announced at New York Comic Con 2017 that the Spawn reboot will go into pre-production in late-December and enter production in February 2018, according to Deadline. Furthermore, the comic book creator and movie director promised that the reboot will "dark and R-rated," but he made it a point to say that it will not be R-rated in the sense that it will have "a couple F-bombs and a couple bare a**es," like Deadpool.
Although R-rated movies have always existed, it stands to reason that Deadpool's overwhelming critical and commercial success (it remains the highest-grossing R-rated film at the worldwide box office) convinced Hollywood studios to take more risks with more mature content, such as Spawn. Despite technically being a superhero movie, the reboot will differ in many ways from the comic book movies that general audiences have come to know from comic book giants DC Comics and Marvel Comics. Rather than drumming up a ground-breaking budget, Spawn will take advantage of Blumhouse's low-budget strategy and produce something that stands out from the crowd.
At this point, though, fans of the comic book character may just be glad to know that things are moving forward on the Spawn reboot. It has been 20 years since the last film released, and McFarlane has never stopped talking about the potential of another film. Considering that production is expected to begin in the late winter, it's possible that Spawn will release sometime in early 2019.