Todd McFarlane’s Spawn…Do You Believe? has got a very impressive cast, a cool-sounding script and some kickass crew members. But, as of right now, it doesn’t have any financing, perhaps because the concept for the movie is so different from traditional superhero fare.
McFarlane’s plan is to treat Spawn like the shark in Jaws, a mostly off-screen presence constantly talked about but largely left to exist in the audience’s imaginations. A convenient side effect of this is that not having a hellfire-powered nightmare superhero on screen all the time saves on budget, which is why McFarlane hopes to convince studios that they should hand over the movie to him to direct as his debut feature.
Judging by his latest Instagram post, it seems like the project’s pretty close to being greenlit, too. Todd hopped on social media this week to share the following brief but promising update:
“Talks are heating up on getting financing for #spawnmovie … stay tuned!!!!!”
Personally, I really hope there’s a studio willing to take a chance on the project. Sure, there’s always a risk with letting a first-time director loose on a film like this as it could result in a disaster, but McFarlane seems to be surrounding himself with veteran filmmakers and I assume he’ll be taking directorial advice from them as he goes. Besides, what he lacks in experience he makes up for in passion for the character.
Ever since his debut in 1992, Spawn has been defined by the writing and art of McFarlane – there’s nobody else on the planet who knows this universe better than him. Fortunately, he seems well aware of his shortcomings, saying the following earlier this year:
“The weak link in this whole thing is me. We’ve got Spawn, we’ve got Jamie [Foxx], Jeremy [Renner] and Jason [Blum]. I’m going to surround myself with an Academy Award-winning director of photography so it will look good. The acting will be good. Stop thinking of this as a traditional superhero movie! Because they go ‘How-come Spawn’s not in it more?’ And all the comments are based on superhero PG-13 thinking.”
While I do love the MCU, I can’t deny that after a while their movies can seem pretty safe and same-y. Warner Bros.’ DCEU is a bit more idiosyncratic, but at least lately they seem to be trying their best to emulate the MCU tone. After seeing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, I’m certain that there’s room in the market for superhero films that actively push against the boundaries of what this genre can do.
So, if you’re reading this and have any say in the film being financed, then please give McFarlane a chance! Spawn…Do You Believe? could be a monumental flop, but it could also be a bold step forward for what a superhero movie can be.