McFarlane Explains His Frustration in Trying To Make His New ‘Spawn’ Film


When Todd McFarlane left Marvel to help found the new Image Comics line, his one big contribution to the label was his creation of Spawn. The character was an immediate hit and was so popular that it was adapted into a major film was 1997. Since that time, McFarlane has spent part of the last twenty years trying to get another Spawn movie made.

Now a new Spawn film is finally in the works from Blumhouse Productions, but as McFarlane would tell you, it’s been a long row to hoe. While participating in a panel discussion Sunday at New York Comic Con, Todd expressed his frustrations with Hollywood’s inability to understand his artistic vision. It was more than apparent that the studios had different ideas about what he believed Spawn should be.

Simply put, McFarlane wanted Spawn to fit more into the horror genre while Hollywood saw it simply as a superhero movie. He explained it like this:

Here’s what’s frustrating about this process,” he said, “Hollywood doesn’t get what I’m trying to do. I can tell by the notes they gave they just don’t understand it.

The central problem was how could he get a studio to support a comic book film that is R-rated horror and not a traditional superhero project that is PG-13, as the previous Spawn film was.

In trying to bring sharp relief to his angst, McFarlane compared the Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix currently in production, to demonstrate the difference between his idea of dark and what Hollywood’s definition of “dark” is.

I don’t believe they’re going to deliver a scary Joker movie,” he said. “Warner Bros dark and my dark are two different things. My dark means if you bring children to a Joker Movie they will leave crying,” McFarlane said. With that methodology, Mcfarlane must have though Avengers Infinity War was great. Children crying all around.

Spawn will be creator Todd McFarlane’s directorial debut. The film will star Jamie Foxx as the title character with Jeremy Renner appearing as Twitch Williams. It does not currently have an announced release date but if all goes as planned, it will begin principal photography soon.

Do you think Spawn will work better as the the more horror based ‘R’ rated film that McFarlane wants or the more traditional super-hero movie that carries a PG-13 rating? Share your preference in Spawn vehicles here at GVNation.