In 1992, Todd McFarlane created one of the most iconic comic book characters of all time. Spawn was not your average run-of-the-mill comic book hero though. In fact, he wasn’t even your average ‘anti-hero.’ Taking inspiration from the occult, Spawn features dark story-telling, with a central theme being an all-out war between the forces of Heaven and Hell. The Image comic book took the 1990s by storm, and ultimately led to a feature film in 1997, starring Michael Jai White. Though the film received negative reviews upon release, it is generally viewed as a cult-classic by fans today. For two and a half decades, many have been clamoring for a reboot. Todd McFarlane has been trying to make that reboot a reality for several years.
Stuck in Development Hell
There were talks of a sequel to the original film immediately following its release, but for various reasons, it never manifested. Talks of a complete reboot began in 2007, the ten-year anniversary of the original film. McFarlane himself announced that in 2009 that he had begun writing a screenplay. The occasional rumor popped up for the next several years, and actor Jamie Foxx was said to be aggressively campaigning for the lead. Finally in 2017, Blumhouse Productions announced their involvement, as well as the fact that McFarlane was slated to direct the film. For a multitude of reasons, including delays and production problems, the film has been stuck in development hell for the past 5 years. This has left fans wondering if the film will ever release.
Todd McFarlane Speaks Up
For his part, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane has been vocal about his continued commitment towards making a Spawn reboot a reality. McFarlane, who is also insistent that the reboot maintains an R-rating, gave fans more hope during this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. When asked for an update on the film, he had this to say:
“The best I can say right now, is that things kind of got slowed down during the pandemic, and then picked back up. Especially given that, for a while, the only movies people were going to see during the pandemic were superhero movies other than James Bond. Now you’ve got Maverick and some of the big blockbusters that are coming back to normal. But New York Comic Con is going to be a big announcement.”
While that may not have been the answer fans were looking for, McFarlane definitely teased more for the upcoming New York Comic-Con. Might that new announcement have something to do with changing the format of the rebooted film completely? McFarlane admitted that he had considering turning the movie into a streaming series instead:
“The answer is you should probably think about it. What if one of the big networks come out and draw up a ton of cash and say they want to make it a streaming movie? My only hesitation for that kind of deal right now is that there’s no data that I can think of that somebody’s been able to build a [movie] franchise starting as a streaming [series]. [Franchises] start in the theaters, then you can do side movies, then you can go to a series spun off from it.”
Let’s hope the future of this project is as likely as McFarlane appears to imply. It’s been 25 years since the original film, and now is the perfect time for a reboot, especially if the R-rating stands.