Spawn creator Todd McFarlane was at the Hollywood Tempe, Arizona premiere of X-Men Origins: Wolverine earlier this week, and IESB was on hand for a video interview. During the discussion, McFarlane let one bombshell in particular drop: he currently has five offers on the table to do a new Spawn movie!
However, it gets deeper than that: McFarlane went on to say that the deals on the table range from big-budget studio projects, to modest-budget indie projects that would allow him more creative freedom. Right now he's still debating what he wants the next Spawn movie to be (though making it NOTHING like the craptastic 1997 version is a good start).
McFarlane claims to be leaning more toward the indie side of things. The Spawn movie he envisions (and subsequently told IESB about) is (to paraphrase) "not a 'comic book movie,' it's just a scary movie, a creepy movie, where everything is real except for one element, which is the character we know as Spawn."
Ok so that sounds like a pretty good angle for Batman Begins a Spawn movie, right? As the IESB interviewer interjected at one point, a "realistic" Spawn film could be pretty well grounded in the characters of Sam and Twitch, the two police detectives in the comic books who are always left cleaning up Spawn's unholy messes.
However, other statements McFarlane made during the interview concern me. He claims at one point that since he has two teenage daughters now, he envisions the next Spawn film as being something that would (again, to paraphrase) "get them and their dates into the theater." Riiiiiiiiight. McFarlane also drops this wonderful tagline for the film: "Think of [The] Departed with something sort of moving in the shadows a little bit."
For any youngsters who may not be familiar, the Spawn comic books were big in the 90's, and the story is basically about a special ops mercenary who is betrayed by the government and murdered, only to strike a deal with The Devil to come back to Earth to be with his wife. Of course The Devil screws him over (he IS The Devil), and the mercenary returns to earth as a living corpse trapped in a parasitic symbiote uniform and powered with a limited amount of magic that, when spent, will usher his return to Hell to serve as lead general in The Devil's war against Heaven.
Now WTF about that sounds like The Departed to you?
I only get more concerned when I hear McFarlane's reasoning for an indie Spawn movie: if the budget is low enough, he'll have more leverage to write and direct the film than he would at a major studio, where he would most likely be resigned to producing.
Oh man... Todd McFarlane directing the next Spawn movie? I know the guy created Spawn and all, but in my opinion, giving somebody too much creative control of a film is usually a bad idea. Especially if they don't have experience commensurate with the challenges of the material. The 1997 Spawn debacle proved what can happen when the property is put in the wrong director's hands. Let's not repeat history.
For IESB's full interview with Todd McFarlane (he also discuss how his project with David Fincher, Torso, recently fell apart, as well as possibility of resurrecting HBO's Spawn animated series), you can click here.
Do you think the next Spawn film should be a big-budget studio flick, or a low-budget creep-fest under Todd McFarlane's creative control?