Did you know that there’s a reboot of Spawn in the works? You’d be forgiven for forgetting because it seems like it’s been a while since we’ve heard much about Todd McFarlane’s feature film adaptation of his comic book character. The author and artist finished the script for the film three years ago and partnered with Blumhouse Productions two years ago, but despite all that and even having cast members on board, Spawn still hasn’t went into production. So why is it taking so long?
Well, according to Todd McFarlane, it’s a matter of money and differing creative visions, as he explained:
The money's sitting on the sidelines ready to go. I just need to get everyone that wants to put in money to shake their heads to the same script. As you can imagine, everyone has a slightly different version of it in their head. You just go and trying to appease a handful of people while not giving in to what it is that I'm trying to do myself. Because if I have to change it too much, I'll just walk away from it all.
It seems that Spawn is taking so long because disagreements among all the various parties invested in its production are holding it up. This isn’t an issue of Todd McFarlane not being able to find anyone interested in financing the movie; the money is there, it’s just that those involved need to agree on the script for the film. That’s difficult because as Todd McFarlane told Comicbook.com, everyone has a slightly different version in their head of what Spawn should be.
Those differing visions make getting everyone on the same page to give him the green light a real challenge. The movie doesn’t get made without the money, and because they’re investing in it, the moneymen have a say in what Spawn is. If the script for the film doesn’t work for them, that money disappears. Everyone wants Spawn to be successful and to recoup their investment, but at the moment they seem to be at an impasse.
That's not entirely surprising considering that Todd McFarlane has talked about his Spawn being a low budget, true R-rated superhero film that is meant to make little kids cry and isn't filled with comedy in the way many modern superhero movies are. While that sounds awesome to many of us, to those fronting the bill that probably sounds like a very difficult film to sell.
The result of this is that it essentially sounds like Spawn is being pulled in multiple directions and Todd McFarlane is having to make concessions and changes to his script and his vision to appease those holding the pocket book. This is apparently why the reboot is taking so long; all the various parties are trying to come to an agreement on a creative direction for the film, and that back and forth process takes time.
Todd McFarlane is trying to be accommodating, but that will only extend so far. He seems willing to just walk away if his hand gets forced and he has to make too many changes that alter the core of what he’s trying to do. In the past, Todd McFarlane has been adamant that he write, produce and direct Spawn and that those points are non-negotiable. Although he is apparently making some changes to his script, that staunchness is evident here.
It’s a somewhat understandable position for him. Todd McFarlane has seen his creation ruined in a feature film once before in the 1997 film and he’s clearly not willing to let that happen again, and thus will only allow a small degree of control to be wrested from him.
So now it seems that it is just a waiting game to see if everyone signs off on Todd McFarlane’s script so that it can go into production. Should that happen, Spawn already has some solid talent lined up, assuming of course that this long process doesn’t result in people dropping out.
No release date has yet been set, but hopefully things get worked out and that happens soon. We’ll keep you updated as the Spawn reboot makes its long journey to the big screen. In the meantime check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see what’s headed to theaters this year.