A live-action Spawn reboot has been on the cards for many years, with character creator Todd McFarlane seemingly determined to get it made. Indeed, the project has been at various stages of development over the last little while, with McFarlane repeatedly stressing that he wants a brutal adaptation of his own work. The success of Joker last year has seemingly re-established the appeal of an R-rated Spawn movie for studios, and recent reports have it that shooting will begin this year. However, McFarlane still has some clear ideas of what he wants from the picture, including himself in the director’s chair.
Despite talk that McFarlane’s lack of experience may mean he’s nudged out of directing Spawn, it appears that this role is non-negotiable for the creator. Speaking to Shoryuken, he had this to say about where the project is at the moment:
“I have very few demands for the movie. It has to be Rated R, there’s no debate around that. With the story I want to tell, my intent goes back to that Spawn Cloud. I am less concerned about what happens in the movie as long as Spawn is “cool” and “badass”. The last demand is that I am the director. That’s it. Everything else is up for conversation.”
The directing demand may cause some headaches for a studio, especially if it means more delays to the long-gestating movie. Furthermore, it appears that financing might be affected by an Oscar-winner dropping out of the film, although it’s not clear yet who that would be.
“Last week I got some discouraging news, we had an Academy Award-winning guy who was going to do the movie with us, but he fell off. We had people willing to fund the movie as long as we had this guy attached but schedules were conflicting, and things had to change. That’s how close we are to getting this thing off the ground.”
Given that Jamie Foxx has been long-attached to Spawn, this would be a big blow for the production if it turned out that he was the one forced to bow out. Jeremy Renner may still be attached, though, as the actor has only been nominated for an Oscar, while Josh Gad is still rumored to be involved in some capacity, too. McFarlane’s vision for the film as one where Spawn may not even appear that much onscreen could also be worrying those wanting to launch a franchise around the character.
What is clear, though, is that McFarlane is unlikely to give up on his dream of making the movie, which has included considering a Kickstarter to raise the financing. After all, the current appeal of R-rated comic book films, boosted by Joker‘s box office and critical success, couldn’t be much stronger at the moment, so it might be a case of now-or-never for McFarlane to produce his vision for Spawn.