With the film having an impressive cast, a director, important members of the crew and a script locked down, I’d assumed that Todd McFarlane’s upcoming Spawn… Do You Believe? (yup, that’s the planned title) was going to start shooting sometime pretty soon. Well, apparently not. There’s one detail that McFarlane hasn’t actually managed to nail down yet. Apparently, he still needs a studio to greenlight the movie.
The news came from an interview with Fandom, who asked him about the status of the project, with McFarlane admitting that they’re still not across the finish line yet.
“What’s next is getting Hollywood to get this. They’re still a little timid of doing a true, dark, nasty R-rated superhero… as soon as you say superhero, they sort of go into a little bit of a default. So we’re still trying to get them across the finish line.”
You’d think studios would be a little less antsy about R-rated superheroes by now. After all, both Deadpool movies made money hand over fist and Logan is one of the most critically acclaimed films in the genre. Plus, Spawn is really more of a horror superhero than traditional Marvel or DC fare, and the slightly harder edge an R-rating would bring would go a long way towards capturing the essence of the character.
“The weak link in this whole thing is me,” said McFarlane. “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.”
He’s referring to the script here, in which the titular character is primarily an off-screen presence, seen so little people wonder whether he’s even real. McFarlane’s betting he can crank up anticipation of what Spawn actually is like this, with the added bonus of keeping the budget down (Spawn’s powers are very VFX heavy). And on that title? Well, here’s what he had to say about that:
“If I had to give a title to the first movie, it would be Spawn… Do You Believe?. Because everyone in this movie is going to be going ‘I don’t even know if this even exists, or if it’s in my head, or if it’s a boogeyman, or if it’s physical.”
If any studio execs are reading this, why not go on and greenlight the guy’s film? It’s not projected to cost that much, there’s a whole bunch of talent in front of and behind the lens and you’re almost guaranteed to make money if he sticks to his financial plans. Besides, we could really use a great Spawn movie, wouldn’t you say?