Todd McFarlane — who was recently inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records— has been working to bring his comic book creation, ‘Spawn’ back to the big screen. McFarlane plans to direct it himself, despite never having helmed a movie before. His script is reportedly finished, and major star Jamie Foxx is attached to star, with Jeremy Renner slated to play detective Twitch Williams. Even so, McFarlane has had trouble getting financing.
‘Spawn’ made the transition to the big screen back in 1997, with a low-budget flick from New Line Cinema, which was a decent-sized hit. Unfortunately, a sequel never arrived. Michael Jai White starred in that film, as the titular ghoul, a former army special forces operative who was doublecrossed and killed, only to be reborn as a demonic vigilante out for revenge.
White has continued acting steadily, usually in action projects. He has the recurring role as the villain Bronze Tiger/Ben Turner on ‘Arrow’ and he will reportedly be back for the show’s final season. He will not be involved with McFarlane’s new ‘Spawn’ movie, however, and he doesn’t even seem convinced that this project will ever actually materialize.
“I don’t know anything about it. He’s been talking about a reboot of Spawn for 20 years. I think he will continue talking about it, because people listen. I don’t understand it, personally. I wish him the best of luck. But, Todd explained to me that this will be a character that you didn’t see. You never see the character. It’s just a character that’s scarcely on film. Personally, I don’t get it. I would think a Spawn movie would cost a lot of money, right? And if there’s somebody giving Todd McFarlane, a man who’s never directed a movie that much money, that will be a first in my experience. I’ll believe it when I see it. I wish him the best of luck, but doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”
In all fairness, McFarlane has said that the new ‘Spawn’ will be more of a horror movie than a superhero movie. Last June, he explained:
“If you look at it from a superhero perspective, then, of course, Batman and Captain America and Spider-Man are on screen a ton. Because the cameras follow them down. That’s who the camera’s following.
When you start going into creep movies, then the camera doesn’t follow the boogie man or the monster. It follows humans, which I have in my movie. But people enjoy creepy movies and don’t go, ‘Oh my gosh, I wish I saw the boogie man more.’ They don’t do that. They just go, ‘Wow, that was cool.’”
The new Spawn should look very cool in the few shots of him that appear in the film, as creature designer Greg Nicotero (‘The Walking Dead’, ‘Creepshow’) is designing him.
This past summer, McFarlane stated he was $20 million shy and wanted to turn to crowd-sourcing and hope that 20 million people will pledge one dollar. He was adamant about not wanting to take the cash from a studio or individual because he didn’t want to surrender any control over his movie.
Well, Michael Jai White doesn’t sound like he expects ‘Spawn’ to happen anytime soon. What do you think?