The massive success of Deadpool has proved that an R-rated superhero movie can be a commercially viable prospect. One comic book character that fans have been eager to see return to the screen in a more adult movie is Todd McFarlane’s demonic antihero Spawn. Now McFarlane has revealed that he has finished a screenplay for a new film version.
McFarlane was interviewed recently at the New York Toy Fair by Comicbook.com. “I’ve finished the script, and I’m in the process of editing,” he said. “It’s 183 pages, and [producers] usually like 120. I still think it’s going to end up being about 140, because I’m putting in details for myself.” He added that this movie would be “a hard R.”
McFarlane also revealed that the film wouldn’t be a superhero movie. “I’d put it more into horror/suspense/supernatural genre,” he said. “The Departed meets Paranormal Activity, something like that.”
“In the background, there’s this thing moving around, this boogeyman. That boogeyman just happens to be something that you and I, intellectually, know is Spawn,” he explained. “Will he look like he did in the first movie? No. Will he have a supervillain he fights? No. He’s going to be the spectre, the ghost.”
McFarlane also explained that part of his decision to stay away from the big budget approach of many modern superhero movies was so he could make the film himself. “Basically, I can make this version of the movie on a budget without crazy special effects,” he said. “I want to keep it small, keep it tight, so they’ll let me direct it!”
The comic book Spawn first appeared in 1992, and was one of the first titles published by McFarlane’s Image Comics. It was massively popular, with the first issue selling 1.7 million copies. A film adaptation was released in 1997, but this was not a big hit with either audiences or critics.