Image Comics founder Todd McFarlane has been crafting a self-financed reboot of Spawn, which he hopes will be a hard-R indie horror movie rather than a superhero film. After nearly a year of Facebook updates to fans during the scripting stages, a new interview with Vulture provides the latest word on the movie. The script is now “just about completed,” and McFarlane reiterates that the new Spawn will not — repeat, not — be a superhero movie.
“It’s impossible for me to believe that anyone will go to this movie and think it’s a superhero movie if they watch the trailer once,” McFarlane said. “It will say, without using bold words, ‘This is not a superhero movie. Period.’ If you think it is, don’t go. Because it won’t act, talk, feel like any of it. What it will act and talk and feel like are creepy little low-budget movies that scare the shit out of you.”
McFarlane’s Spawn, a reboot based on his flagship character for his game-changing company, Image Comics, will be a self-financed project that McFarlane intends to direct himself despite lacking formal experience. “If I write a $10 million-budget movie, you’re going to go get some 27-year-old Young Turk who’s just coming fresh from commercials, and you’re gonna hire him to direct it,” he says. “He’s gonna be your newbie? I wanna be your newbie.”
The auteur hasn’t changed his position on his Spawn since he began speaking publicly about the project. Almost like clockwork, McFarlane hosts live Facebook videos in his office, answering questions from fans while sketching characters in his signature style. Occasionally, he’ll have live videos giving updates to Spawn, during which he’s confirmed it will be a horror movie instead of a superhero affair.
A previous Spawn film, released in 1997, was a modest box office success but flopped hard with critics. An animated series on HBO was better received but canceled after only two years.
By financing and directing the film himself, McFarlane tells Vulture he’ll have creative freedom he wouldn’t otherwise have with a studio at the helm. “The greatest single value that anybody can give me is freedom. That’s it. That’s going to be the epitaph when I die. It’s just going to say: Here lies Todd McFarlane. He was free. Period.”
Spawn does not currently have a release date.