Todd McFarlane has planned cameos for himself and legendary comic book writer Stan Lee in the upcoming Spawn movie. The comic creator is already heavily involved with the Spawn film by Blumhouse Productions, acting as writer and director on the reboot of the 1997 Spawn movie.
First hitting comic shelves in May of 1992, Spawn tells the story of Al Simmons - a former Marine turned CIA agent, who was killed by his bosses after he began questioning the morality of his actions. Finding himself in Hell (because he had knowingly killed innocents in the line of duty), Simmons was offered a bargain by the demon Malebolgia - control of Simmons' soul in exchange for seeing his wife one last time. Naturally, the Faustian pact was a trick and Simmons found himself sent back to Earth five years after his death in the demonic form of a "Hellspawn" - a being with fantastic but limited powers. The series focused on Simmons as he warred with the forces of Heaven and Hell, trying desperately to win back the life and love he had lost.
McFarlane's comments about the upcoming movie and the cameos came during a panel at Ace Comic Con in Phoenix, Arizona and were reported by ComicBook. McFarlane shared the stage with Stan Lee, who had some things to say on the subject of film cameos himself. "How many institutions do you ever have a chance to form? I created an institution - The Stan Lee Cameo," quipped Lee. "I'm very proud of it."
"Wow, you know what? I'm about to get ready to shoot a Spawn movie, I'm gonna put myself in it," McFarlane replied. "That's all I need - more competition," Lee grumbled jokingly.
McFarlane later claimed to had offered Lee a cameo in the Spawn movie as well, but suggested that it would be unlike any of Lee's numerous cameos in the various Marvel Comics movies based on his work.
"I want to do a dark anti-cameo, unfriendly Stan Lee, and he's like, 'Todd, I'm in!' I've explained what I want to do, and he's like, 'Oh, cool,'" McFarlane said. "'So, I'm not gonna be, like, the happy-go-lucky?' I go, 'No, you're gonna be ugly. You're gonna be this Schlitz-drinking, wife beater, three-day-old shave, snarly dude'," McFarlane said. "And he's like, 'I love it!' So, we'll see if we can pull it off."
While reports of Lee's cameo came as a stunning surprise, the news of McFarlane's planned cameo is hardly shocking. Though not quite as famous for shameless self-promotion as Lee, McFarlane is hardly known for being shy or soft-spoken when it comes to his most famous creation. The creator acted as a host for the HBO Spawn animated series, introducing every episode. He also had a cameo as a homeless man in the original Spawn film.
It remains to be seen what demand, if any, there is for a Spawn reboot. The series' popularity peaked in the late 1990s around the time the original Spawn movie came out and hasn't been a high-seller for quite some time. McFarlane is optimistic, however, that the technology has improved to where the character can be properly depicted. He also feels that with other adult comic book movies such as Logan and Deadpool finding critical acclaim that the time is right for Spawn to make a comeback.
The Spawn reboot is planned for release sometime in 2019 but no release date has been set.