Todd McFarlane’s been talking about getting Spawn back on the screen for a while, now. There’s that animated movie (which brings voice actor Keith David back) which is all-but-done, but it’s been chained up by legal disputes. Additionally, he’s been writing a screenplay for a new, live action movie.
We knew that, but now, after McFarlane spoke to Newsarama at Toy Fair, we know that he has his eyes on directing and producing the movie himself…
“I’ve had the idea in my head for over 10 years… and I want to write, produce and direct it and just go, ‘ here it is’… I’m 80% through the script, I did my due diligence, went around Hollywood... I listened to the pitch from all the big studios, but I just went, ‘nah, I need to make this small and tight and contained’… And if we keep the budget small, they’ll allow me to do all of that. [But] if you blow up the budget...and I understand that. I wouldn’t hire me, either. But then I have to give it away… All the small guys go ‘that thing [1997’s “Spawn”] opened up to $20 million last time!’ We could do a talking head [indie movie] for 8-9 million bucks or we can add an extra million to the budget and make a Spawn movie? Rock and Roll!... At this point in my life, I’d rather keep it smaller and maybe get fewer people to come see it, but actually just sort of extract out of my brain what I’ve been living with for the past 10 years… Another option is me just financing it myself… that way I can just ... I own all of it.”
Interesting. It seems every week we’re reporting about comics creators taking their seats in directors' chairs. Mark Millar’s hoping to re-use the business plan he used for KICK-ASS and independently finance adaptations of his projects with him more involved from here on. It makes a lot of sense and I’m all for it myself if it means seeing more genre movies that don’t have to shave off all their rough edges to achieve mainstream acceptance.
I thought the ’97 Spawn movie was pretty faithful to the comics already (and it was the radest movie of that summer in the eyes of lil’ Tommy P.) It wasn’t an R-rated picture as intense as the Spawn cartoon, but it stuck close to the Hellspawn mythos. And John Leguizamo just stole the show as Clown.
Anyway, with all this mutli-media news, McFarlane fans needn’t worry about the man walking away from comics to focus on movies and his various businesses forever. In addition to inking HAUNT, he’s still longing to return to penciling…
“I’ve got three kids now, so I’ve been trying to figure out how to do all that [penciling and business managing] and still spend time with my wife and sleep… I believe that once my 15 minutes of fame goes away and my life winds down,I’ll probably return to comic books. Not because I need to make money, not because I want to be famous... just because I enjoy drawing.”
So what do you think, oft-adapted Comic Vine community? Would you sell your soul for another Spawn movie? What would YOU like to see in it?
-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia Comics. Watch out for the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover collection this March - - available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.