Spawn creator Todd McFarlane confirms new movie on the way

The Image Comics hero, who made his name in the 1990s, is coming back to the big screen.

The 1997 Spawn movie.
The Spawn movie. Eye-catching but flawed. Image New Line Cinema.

The big-screen adaptation of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn was significant for a number of reasons.

Produced back in 1997, and starring Michael Jai White as special forces soldier turned demon servant Spawn, the film was the first comic book adaptation to feature an African American portraying a major superhero.

It was also one of the few comic book properties to get its own movie, having risen to prominence with the publication of McFarlane’s first Spawn comic book just five years earlier.

Arriving at a time when Batman and, prior to that, Superman, dominated when it came to superhero movies, Spawn was visually striking but ultimately flawed, coming at a time when filmmakers were still getting to grips with translating graphic novel thrills to the big screen.

Almost 20 years on, however, and it would appear that McFarlane is preparing for a fresh crack at the big-time with another big-screen outing in the works.

Speaking to Tiffany Smith on AMC’s Geeking Out, as reported by ComicBook.com, McFarlane confirmed that he has almost completed work on a script for a brand new Spawn film.

“I’ve finished the script, and I’m in the process of editing. It’s 183 pages, and [producers] usually like 120. I still think it’s going to end up being about 140 because I’m putting in details for myself.”

But anyone expecting to see the same striking visuals as those that featured in Mark A.Z. Dippé’s ’97 version, could be left disappointed.

Spawn represented Dippé’s directorial debut, having made his name previously by working in visual effects, and many of the techniques used in the finished film have stood the test of time.

McFarlane wants to do things differently though, having worked on the proposed sequel for as long back as 1998, when White was still attached to star.

Most likely an origins story in the vein of Batman Begins, McFarlane told Geeking Out that Spawn fans should not expect to see as much of the titular hero this time around.

According to the comic book scribe he’s written “a dark, R-rated, scary, badass sort of script” with a “world’s going to be real, except for one thing that’s going to move,” and that “you’re never going to see a dude in a rubber suit…. This is going to be my Jaws shark.”

Still some way off arriving at cinemas, fans can at least get a glimpse of what things could end up looking like, courtesy of a new fan-made version of the 1997 Spawn movie trailer, which has been re-cut to closer resemble the darker tone of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

One thing is for sure: Martin Sheen won’t be back with that dodgy hair dye.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.