Talking to ComicBook.com about the just-finished script for his Spawn reboot, creator Todd McFarlane explained a few more details about what to expect from the movie, focusing particularly on how the tone will differ from the action-heavy 1997 feature. “I’d put it more into the horror/suspense/supernatural genre. If you take the movie The Departed meetsParanormal Activity, something like that…In the background, there’s this thing moving around, this boogeyman. That boogeyman just happens to be something that you and I, intellectually, know is Spawn. Will he look like he did in the first movie? No. Will he have a supervillain he fights? No. He’s going to be the specter, the ghost.”
This project can only pick up steam after Deadpool has just reignited the notion that a comic book project can be produced for a hard-R rating. It will also be heavily aided by its apparent smallness. I, for one, would welcome a low-budget but hard hitting, heavy-on-the-horror approach to Spawn. That would be much closer to the tone and style of both the comic series and the HBO TV adaptation than the original film.
In a 2013 interview with Game Rant–in which McFarlane said he was about two-thirds of the way through the script–he described the film’s much more DIY approach, compared to the big-budget studio original. “My goal to some degree is to self-finance and I know [people] go, ‘that’s dumb and that’s crazy,’ but years ago, Mel Gibson did it with ‘The Passion of The Christ.’ So I sort of call this one, Spawn from hell: my passion of the anti-Christ. In my mind I can do this thing with 10 million bucks and if you keep it small they’re just gonna get an unknown director anyway for that kind of a budget, so I go, ‘If you’re going to get an unknown director, let me be that unknown director.’ Again, there’s nobody that’s argued it – they just go, ‘Then where’s the screenplay? Get it done.’”
Other details about the project over the years have included the fact that it will star detectives Sam and Twitch: major characters from the comics who had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in the original movie. Now that the script is complete, McFarlane has yet to confirm the presence of these two characters.
While everything should be taken with a grain of salt, it really seems like the number one thing that’s been holding this project back is simply the time it’s taken McFarlane to write it. Now that it’s done, things should pick up rather quickly.
Of course, reaction to the script remains to be seen, so here’s hoping that it’s as good as he’s making it out to be and that people are actually willing to give him the money to go out and make it.