When it comes to major film franchises like Marvel and ‘Star Wars’, everyone involved is under strict orders not to reveal too many spoilers about until audiences get a chance to see the movies for themselves. But in recent years, a lot of this secrecy has been undermined by an unlikely source– toys. Several times the arrival of tie-in toys have revealed a bit too much information, which educated fans have used to piece together unrevealed plot points before the film even opens.
“Yes. Traditionally, a lot of toys come out before the movie. I’m not giving anything away in the toy aisle three weeks before the movie comes out. There should be some sense of [mystery], you know…”
In the ’90s, McFarlane created his own toy company, McFarlane Toys to sculpt high-quality collectibles aimed at adult fans. His ‘Spawn’ toy line, which also included characters from other Image Comics like ‘Wetworks’ and ‘Youngblood’ was one of the must-have collectibles of the era, which was so popular that the sculptors the Four Horsemen began creating intricately-detailed action figures of original characters that had never even appeared in the comics and buyers still snapped them up.
As for the film, McFarlane has compared his cinematic take on ‘Spawn’ to ‘Jaws’ and other horror movies in which the audience only caught random glances of the creature. He wants to make sure that the entire movie isn’t spoiled by toys and trailers.
“You can see it right now with Venom. People got a little frustrated, they wanted something in the first trailer and then the second trailer. People have the hunger to want to see the cool thing. Right? You’re always going to have the frustration if you don’t have enough, especially from the trailer. We’ll be doing all those things later. People are going to want to be seeing more and more and more.
“The fun between now and then is going to be listening to the fans. ‘I love it! I hate it! Jaime Foxx is an idiot! Jaime Foxx is the best choice ever! This is ridiculous, he’s a comedian!’ All of that, to me, is interesting and sort of fun stuff. I don’t take it personal. I’m not here to defend it. I think every fan gets to have their own personality. They can do what they want. I think some commenter will be premature because they don’t have enough information. All I can do is go here’s the next stuff, here’s a trailer. Now you got more information to download. Is it then something that you want?
“It still goes back to the old adage, ‘Any publicity is good publicity.’ So, if they’re talking, even if it’s smack, it’s because somebody is interested or concerned. All those are okay. Now our job is to see if we can’t deliver something that will get some of the people who aren’t necessarily committed, get them comfortable and get them on our side.
“We’ll have, I think, a giant pool that will be giving us a big benefit of the doubt to start with. So, good, we got that, check. And the other, we’ll go, hey, weren’t with you on the whole thing, you know, interesting enough job. But, at least, they’ll give us a chance. That’s all I’m asking for. Give me a chance, take a look at it and then write your report card. Whatever you write after that is completely fair.”
‘Spawn’ will be produced by low-budget horror producers Blumhouse. Jamie Foxx will play Al Simmons/Spawn, but so far he is the only cast member whose name has been announced. Production is expected to begin before the end of the year, but a release date has not been set.