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Every year we see numerous sequels that never should have gotten past the hypothetical conversation stage. Meanwhile, the more highly sought after sequels remain unproduced. Case in point: Todd McFarlane has spent years trying to develop a reboot or a sequel to Mark A.Z. Dippé’s clumsy big screen version of Spawn, the violent and darkly comedic comic book series that put McFarlane on the map. Recently interviewed by The Gate at the comic and toy convention Fan Expo, McFarlane once again gives fans hope that Spawn will soon rise from the grave, and that another film may go into production as early as next year. Cross your long gnarled fingers!
“The reality is that I’ve got a lot of pressure,” McFarlane said. “They want me to deliver the script by the end of the year, which would basically mean we’d be shooting next year. So, that’s the goal right now.” Considering he’s been aiming to get the film made for years now, it’s rather surprising that he doesn’t have at least one finalized version of the script completed by now.
So what’s been the hold up? “The thing that keeps slowing it down is that the negotiation I’ve done is I write, produce, direct, but I’ve got to push a lot of my other endeavors off to the side,” he explained, “so I can just get tunnel vision on it. And so everybody at my company is now going, ‘We’ve got to find Todd the time to finish all this.”
I’m not sure what else McFarlane is involved with beyond the comic series and his massively popular toy line, but it doesn’t sound like he’d have to put anything off for very long, as he predicts the shoot would take only “60-70 days,” and won’t be held back by a huge budget and a plethora of CGI special effects. In fact, he sees the film as “more of a horror movie and a thriller movie, not a superhero one.” Hooray! I assume this means no campy John Leguizamo in a fat suit.
One of the last times McFarlane updated us on this project he talked about having an Academy Award winner interested in taking the part, and it was soon after revealed that Jamie Foxx was that actor. And while McFarlane himself didn’t name any names, when asked about it, he said, “We’ve had some big names – like the one you’re mentioning – come into the office and go, ‘We want to be in it,” and he seems certain that they’ll “get it off the ground with some big names.” I’d still take Michael Jai White reprising the lead role, but that probably won’t happen.
Take a look at the entire interview below, with the movie talk coming in around the 6:10 mark. It’s worth listening to the entire thing, however, as he also points a critical finger at other toymakers for their lack of photo-realism in their products.