Todd McFarlane Promises That His Long-Awaited SPAWN Reboot Could Begin Production This Year

Todd McFarlane has touted an R-rated Spawn reboot for the last decade, but is it finally ready to emerge from development hell? After the success of the 2019 film Joker, he certainly believes so...

With the cult favourite comic book series Spawn reaching its 300th issue milestone last September, and the titular character poised to make an appearance in Mortal Kombat 11 in March, it's an exciting time to be a fan of the hellish avenger. But one of the less satisfying aspects of the fandom is the promise of a gritty R-rated Spawn film reboot from creator Todd McFarlane, which has been burning in the pits of development hell for the last decade.

When the film was picked up by Blumhouse Productions back in 2017, with actors Jamie Foxx (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and Jeremy Renner (Avengers: Endgame) signing on, it appeared as though it was finally coming to fruition. However, it has hit a few obstacles since then.

McFarlane is a veteran writer and artist, but he has never directed a feature length movie in his career. However, he not only insists that he does so with the Spawn reboot, but also demands total creative control. This has led to him clashing with the producers, and threatening to withdraw the project from the studio. McFarlane's requested budget of $10-12 million has also doubled to $20 million since then. He maintains that the reboot will not be an action film or a traditional superhero film, but rather a true horror film inspired by The Grudge and John Carpenter's The Thing (something that has yet to be seen in the comic book movie genre).

Despite the uphill battle that has been fought to get the film into production, McFarlane is optimistic that his passion project will finally get its due. He recently told Newsarama that he has been receiving offers in light of the success of the 2019 smash hit Joker, a film that similarly broke convention by being a Scorsese-inspired character study about a man's slow descent into madness, rather than the big budgeted action-oriented epics that Hollywood is used to. Joker became the first R-rated film to bring in $1 billion at the box office, and was hailed by critics as a "dark evolution for comics-inspired media." McFarlane went into detail:

"When I was at New York Comic Con, Joker came out and Hollywood has a penchant for looking at what works, then doing it 10 times over. This movie opened up, then made a billion dollars which is still 33% bigger than any other R-rated movie in the history of cinema. So, Hollywood is on the go for R-rated comic book stuff, right? The phone has been ringing and I’ve got lots of people thinking about Spawn now. There’s a different momentum happening right now and in the next month, I should have another big announcement about the movie."

However, he strongly believes that if production doesn't begin by the end of the year, it might already be too late:  "The window is open right now and if I can’t pull it off this year, it’s only going to get harder, right? I’m confident enough that it’s going to work, but give me a month."

While the visionary author fights to have his directorial debut realised, fans can at least look forward to McFarlane Toys releasing a Mortal Kombat-brand Spawn action figure later this year.

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