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Fans of Spawn were excited during San Diego Comic-Con to learn that creator Todd McFarlane is working to bring his most famous creation back to the big screen. Now, the writer explains why he decided to go with a smaller production company for his comic book movie. Spawn is a comic book character and so one might expect to see the Spawn film done in the style of a Marvel or DC movie. However, Blumhouse is known for making much smaller horror movies. As it turns out, this is actually the precise reason that McFarlane decided to make the Spawn movie there. He says Blumhouse founder Jason Blum has found success with this formula, and as a first-time feature director, McFarlane knows he needs that level of success behind him. According to McFarlane...
Jason's brand with Blumhouse Productions has been these R-rated, low budget, scary, cool movies that are successful, and they work, and they allow you then to make another movie. The thought was always, and I never moved off it, was that I'd write, produce, and direct, which I will...So now I needed to surround myself with people that were going to make me look good and one of the first steps is to get a good production house - and it sounds silly what I'm about to say - that can make a low budget movie.
Blumhouse has had a remarkably good year already in 2017. As the studio behind both Get Out and Split, two movies that are still among the top box office winners of the year, the studio has shown it knows how to make horror movies that can be successful without having major blockbuster budgets. Todd McFarlane tells comicbook.com that he doesn't see the new Spawn as that sort of movie and that he also doesn't see a larger studio actually being successful with a smaller budget film, which led him to Blumhouse. As he says, they can make the lower budget movie, others simply can't.
While Spawn would qualify as a superhero comic, it's also, without question, a horror comic. Previous attempts to adapt the character for the screen have focused less on the horror element, but it seems clear that McFarlane's new script is geared much more toward this idea. Clearly, he sees the new Spawn film as an R-rated affair and a larger studio movie with a larger budget on the line would probably be hesitant to green light a movie like that. It might not be impossible, but it would certainly be difficult.
It should also be pointed out that Todd McFarlane has never directed a feature film before. While there's certainly an argument to be made that the creator of the character would be a valuable director, a larger studio might also be hesitant to give a larger budget to a first time director. McFarlane realizes this, which is why he says he needs Blumouse to help him look good.
While we're still in the very early stages, it does seem like Blumhouse is the right place for Spawn to return to the big screen. If they can revitalize the character the same way they have with the career of M. Night Shyamalan, maybe there really could be something great on the way.