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Todd McFarlane has been very open about his Spawn movie being scarier and more graphic than your average superhero effort. He even said Deadpool was essentially a PG-13 movie with some butts and F-bombs. So, the idea of pushing the boundaries has never really been in question, but some fans were still surprised this week when the director took it a step further, saying he's interested in making the type of movie that would make children under 10 cry.
Here's a quote he dropped at New York Comic-Con, courtesy of IGN...
Their dark is here's PG-13, here's R, they go over a little bit. We're talking over here. We're talking that it would make your kids cry. If you're going to do dark R, make the children cry who are under 10. That's the movie. Do I think that The Joker is gonna make 10-year-olds cry? Nope. Would I make them cry? Sure, I would because I'd be doing a movie for adults.
Not to pick on any specific movie, but I think McFarlane's larger frustration here isn't necessarily with the end results as much as some of the things directors and producers say while films are being made. They tend to hype these projects up to try and appeal to certain elements of the fanbase and go on and on about how "gritty" or "dark" the movies are, but usually, they're only a little grittier or a little darker than other superhero movies that have come before, not grittier or darker than actual dramas or sci-fi movies critics might describe as "gritty" or "dark".
As for where this leaves Spawn, the jury is still out. It's safe to say the final product will be pretty intense, but will it be intense to the point it turns off your average moviegoer? Or will it be on the right side of the line for most adults but simply too much for younger children? We shall see.
The new Spawn movie is short on details at this point. We know it will star Jamie Foxx as the main character and Jeremy Renner as Twitch Williams and has been earmarked for a 2019 release. Thanks to McFarlane's comments, we know it'll be pretty extreme and may even feel like a horror movie at parts. He's said in the past Spawn might not actually be featured in any of the trailers. The whole thing sounds really original and exciting, but as with all movies, every exciting idea is ultimately rendered meaningless if the final product doesn't fulfill any of the lofty goals.
We'll keep you updated as more information emerges. Until then, think of all the despicable things and cross your fingers they'll be found in Spawn's final runtime.