Oh Spawn, wherefore art thou? Todd McFarlane’s dream project has been in development for years but despite having a great cast and talented crew, studios have been hesitant to give it the green light. Their hesitation is apparently down to McFarlane insisting that he helms it, though him being a first-time director is working against him. His response to their fears was that he’d minimize that inexperience by surrounding himself with “quality people.” But since then, all we’ve heard are monthly promises from McFarlane that a big announcement is due soon… which never comes.
That trend continued at a recent virtual panel appearance at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. On the subject of Spawn, he said:
“We are in the process of adding, I think, not only a home run, but potentially a grand slam to our movie. I’m not saying that as a teaser. I’m saying that legitimately. It’s happening. It’s happening right now. It’s just that the business of Hollywood has its sort of ebb and flow… They seem to be a little bit shy about wanting to be public about all of this. So, all I can say is that the movie is going full-steam ahead. I know I’ve said it before. I’m telling you, it’s going full-steam ahead in terms of news that hopefully you and I will be able to break fairly soon.”
Ordinarily, I’d be pretty hyped about this, but I’ve been burned before by McFarlane claiming that an official announcement is just around the corner, only to find him a month or so later saying the same thing.
Things looked positive in late 2019 after the billion-dollar success of Joker proved there was an appetite for R-rated comic book movies with a dark and depressing atmosphere. The signs were good in early 2020, too, but then came the COVID-19 lockdowns and it seemed that Spawn‘s window of opportunity might have passed.
The one ray of light in this whole affair is Blumhouse’s Jason Blum, who assured us that the project is in active development and there are big things currently happening behind-the-scenes. Call me pessimistic, but I’ll only start celebrating Spawn once I start seeing some actual pictures from the set.