You'd better put on your sunscreen, because we are one step closer to taking a trip into the bowels of hell with the highly-anticipated Spawn film. Although we have been here before in 1997, this time the #comicbook anti-hero's creator Todd McFarlane is onboard to bring the King of Hell tearing into the 21st Century.
While it may have been all quiet on the #Spawn front for a while, McFarlane claims that the script is finished and that the recent spate of violent #superhero films could be just what Spawn needs to get off the starting blocks. With the likes of #Logan and #Deadpool ushering in a resurgence of R-rated supes films, it looks like (some) directors are unafraid to take their characters away from the cotton candy and unicorns of the MCU. With this in mind, it looks like McFarlane is eyeing a hard R-rating when Spawn eventually spawns.
Spawning A New Era
Speaking at Emerald City Comic-Con and via a Twitch video during a panel with Stan Lee, McFarlane offered a blood-soaked update on where Spawn actually is:
"Listen, I'm going to paint it for you. The movie is going to be a dark R...If here's PG-13 and here's 'Deadpool' and here's 'Logan,' we're going to be here. It's going to be dark. It's going to be nasty."
This time around, it looks like McFarlane will be behind the reins after previously joking on the Scott Ferrall Sirius Radio show that, "It's coming out no matter what. Even if I have to produce, direct and finance it myself, it's going to come out." Tipped as a reboot akin to Batman Begins or 2008's Punisher: War Zone, reimagining the titular hero as more of a boogeyman, but with a flavor of The Departed, it certainly doesn't sound like any superhero film I've ever seen.
1997's Spawn wasn't exactly great. Although it did have Michael Jai White as the first African American to portray a major comic book hero, it was heavily criticized for being too violent at the time. Perhaps 1997 just wasn't the era for a bloody beat 'em up, but it seems that 20 years later, we just can't get enough of badass superheroes you wouldn't take home to mommy. McFarlane himself was also critical of Mark A.Z. Dippé's vision of the film, and this time wants to go for a low-budget film around the $10 million mark. The first Spawn had a budget of $40 million, and look how that turned out, so, are anyone else's alarm bells ringing yet?
Admittedly, if he can get the backing of someone like Blumhouse — who regularly produce the likes of The Purge and Sinister for relatively little money — then it could be a go, while elsewhere, it has been suggested that the likes of #Netflix could get involved. Bear in mind though, Netflix's original content tends to veer away from anything too out there in favor of all-round "safe bets." However, it is still a long way off yet anyway, with Spawn stuck in literal and development hell since 2007, could it just be another pipe-dream?
- 'R' You Ready: James Mangold Talks About How He Made 'Logan' R-Rated
- From Page To Screen: How To Turn Your Comic Book Into A Big-Screen Adaptation
- Superhero Capes That Prove To Be Helpful In Fighting Crime
Now Or Never
While James Mangold's Logan certainly didn't hold back on the blood and guts, it did tone down the violence from the Old Man Logan storyline in the comics — we never saw Jackman burst out from inside Hulk or take on a T-Rex — also, he missed out on possibly the most graphic scene, where a berserker Logan slices up the rest of the X-Men in Westchester. That being said, with Dafne Keen popping out her little claw foot and Jackman pulling out his claws one last time, there was no skimping on the violence.
However, if there is one person out there who can but the Logans to shame, it is Al Simmons as Spawn. Sadly, it could be to do with the financial constraints, but he has promised that it won't contain your usual big-budget special effects, and probably not a well-known cast. This is a real shame, surely someone out there can see the potential of a Spawn film, while others have said that someone like Jamie Foxx would be perfect for the role of Al. Whatever happens, McFarlane is aiming for a much older crowd, more in line with a horror/thriller than your classic superhero film, so at least he has a clear idea in his head of what he wants. As the creator, he certainly has the credentials to get it right.
As a defiant comic book, but clearly a passion, McFarlane's Spawn faces the problem of not having the fanbase of the X-Men, or the backing of a huge studio like Fox. Not that it really matters though to the hero's creator, like the titular character, it looks like McFarlane is telling naysayers of his monster to go to hell!
Check out the trailer for the original Spawn, and don't forget our poll below!
Are you looking forward to the 'Spawn' reboot?
[Poll Image Credit: 'Spawn' - New Line Cinema]