Todd McFarlane says his upcoming Spawn reboot isn't a superhero movie but rather a supernatural thriller. An adaptation of the McFarlane-created comic book character, Al Simmons, aka Spawn, released in 1997 from visual effects supervisor Mark A.Z. Dippé in his directorial debut, based on a script from Alan B. McElroy, who previously developed HBO's Spawn animated series alongside McFarlane in the mid-1990s. Michael Jai White played the eponymous antihero and was meant to reprise his role in a Spawn sequel until McFarlane decided to reboot the franchise instead.
A second Spawn installment has been in the works for almost two decades. McFarlane spent years trying to bring Dippé's sequel to fruition with White on board, but it wasn't until 2007 that his mindset started to drift towards a full-fledged reboot instead so that he could capitalize on the resurgence of comic book movies in the late-2000s. Another decade went by before the planned Spawn reboot finally moved out of development hell and into pre-production, with McFarlane partnering with Blumhouse Productions - a studio known for low-budget films such as Split, Get Out, and The Purge - for the upcoming R-rated adaptation. While casting has yet to get underway, the long-awaited reboot is expected to start filming in New York sometime in early 2018.
Todd McFarlane will be hosting a panel at ACE Comic-Con next weekend with comic book legend Stan Lee. And the comic creator spoke with AZ Central ahead of the convention, in which he discussed Lee's extensive career as well as his upcoming Spawn reboot, which he says shouldn't be considered a superhero movie.
"We just signed off on the script, and are going into budgeting. We're also having our casting meeting...It will be dark and heavy, serious, R-rated. It won't be a superhero movie. I don't think most people would categorize it as that. It will be a supernatural thriller, like a lot of good creep movies. The only thing in the movie that's fantastic is Spawn, and anything else is otherwise normal."
McFarlane's comments about the Spawn reboot not being a superhero movie somewhat contradict previous statements from Blumhouse's Jason Blum, who previously described the film as a "low-budget superhero movie." Given the nature of Spawn comics, though, a supernatural thriller makes much more sense, especially since McFarlane is developing the movie with Blumhouse, a studio known for making low-budget supernatural films such as Insidious, Sinister, and Paranormal Activity. What's more, McFarlane also says that they don't need an actor to play a superhero; they just need him to act. He said: "Unlike a superhero movie, we wouldn't need an actor to put on prosthetic (makeup) or go to the gym. We just need him to act."
As for Spawn's R-rating, McFarlane doesn't want people to think that the film will be like Logan or Deadpool, in which they utilize nudity and profanity, but rather use that MPAA rating to showcase "trauma, true trauma, as serious as possible." Spawn doesn't yet have a release date, but an early 2018 production start could indicate an early 2019 release.
Source: AZ Central