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Todd McFarlane offers up budget and tone for the Spawn reboot

10.10.2013

I've been glued to SPAWN since the HBO show premiered in 1997. Even now it's one of the best animated comic series I've ever seen. HBO allowed the character to leap right off the page and didn't turn away from the violence or graphic nature of the series. Then the movie came out a few months later….

I was letdown.

How could a movie even try to top that? It should have looked like SE7EN which was released two years prior. The movie wanted to be serious but serious turned into corn and I was just upset. I know I've ranted and rambled on about this before so let's end it by saying that I want the next one to be better.

Creator Todd McFarlane offered up details on the budget and tone of the coming reboot. In an interview with AssignmentX.com, McFarlane told the site how he wanted to keep things low budget, "It’s a $10 million, R-rated supernatural movie that takes all the superhero stuff out of it. So for people who want to go see an Iron Man redo, that’s not it. For people who like The Conjuring, then it’s going to be right up that alley.”

THE CONJURING cost around $20 million to make but he's going more for the feel and less on the effects. But it's definitely not a horror flick, instead McFarlane said that it would be a, “Supernatural thriller. I grew up on things like Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen, things like that. Those movies only had one fantastic element in [them], and it was the supernatural or the ghost, and everything else in the world was normal. With superheroes, you have to have the hero, the super-villain, the fantastic headquarters, sometimes even the sidekick and you get more and more fantastic. This is just going to be The Departed and L.A. Confidential with a ghost moving around in it.”

What about Jamie Foxx gunning for the lead role? When the McFarlane spoke with Foxx, he put more emphasis on the drama rather than the stunts, “You know, Jamie was out at my office. I thought we were going to keep it on the Q.T. I’ve talked to some pretty high-profile actors. I think he’s just putting the pressure on me to get the script done. So I sold him on my pitch. I go, ‘Here, I’ve got an idea that could keep you in the Spawn movies for twenty years, but it can’t be about physicality. It has to be more about a little bit of acting and then this specter, this sentinel, that moves around in an otherwise hard drama movie.’"

I agree that a film does not have to have a massive budget in order to be good. This, for me, is definitely something that you have to get right on all fronts: writing, directing, and casting. If one of those elements is weak then it's going to pull everything else down. But will they get it right this time?

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Source: Assignment X

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2:35PM on 10/11/2013
Yayyy! More hot air! Keep on Todd, it's almost enough to fill my balloon!!
Yayyy! More hot air! Keep on Todd, it's almost enough to fill my balloon!!
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8:52AM on 10/11/2013
I dislike the new Walking Dead figs. The faces are off. I expected far better than what was released. That aside, I found the original movie entertaining and the animated was really cool. Would love a more serious take on Spawn.
I dislike the new Walking Dead figs. The faces are off. I expected far better than what was released. That aside, I found the original movie entertaining and the animated was really cool. Would love a more serious take on Spawn.
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2:45AM on 10/11/2013
Dear Todd, just shut up and make McFarlane's Toys great again by stop making Halo and your Sports line and make decent Spawn or other Horror figures once again. Your Walking Dead line is great. Keep it up.
Dear Todd, just shut up and make McFarlane's Toys great again by stop making Halo and your Sports line and make decent Spawn or other Horror figures once again. Your Walking Dead line is great. Keep it up.
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+11
2:04AM on 10/11/2013
Tap me on the shoulder when a real trailer is out, otherwise I'm not buying this shit any longer.
Tap me on the shoulder when a real trailer is out, otherwise I'm not buying this shit any longer.
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+9
1:54AM on 10/11/2013
Walk the walk, or stop talking.
Walk the walk, or stop talking.
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+8
11:39PM on 10/10/2013
Every time I see a headline with the name Todd McFarlane in it I am immediately pissed off. This guy has been talking out of his ass for almost 15 years about this reboot. It's gonna be this, it's gonna be that. Blah blah blah, shut the fuck up. Ya I used to collect the comics back in the day. Hell I even still have the first appearance of Spawn Wizard card. But I'm tired of hearing about it. I't ain't gonna happen. He's just noise at this point.
Every time I see a headline with the name Todd McFarlane in it I am immediately pissed off. This guy has been talking out of his ass for almost 15 years about this reboot. It's gonna be this, it's gonna be that. Blah blah blah, shut the fuck up. Ya I used to collect the comics back in the day. Hell I even still have the first appearance of Spawn Wizard card. But I'm tired of hearing about it. I't ain't gonna happen. He's just noise at this point.
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11:24PM on 10/10/2013

I think I get what he's trying to say...

For those of you who have seen McFarlane speak these days you'll know he is a little hard to follow at the best of times. That being said, I think I understand what he wants the movie to be and it could work. Think the Crow but with Spawn, no supernatural elements except this single being making the world go crazy around him. Ill give it a shot once it comes out. Hey, at least we still have the sweet Spawn cartoons from the 90's to go back to if it sucks!
For those of you who have seen McFarlane speak these days you'll know he is a little hard to follow at the best of times. That being said, I think I understand what he wants the movie to be and it could work. Think the Crow but with Spawn, no supernatural elements except this single being making the world go crazy around him. Ill give it a shot once it comes out. Hey, at least we still have the sweet Spawn cartoons from the 90's to go back to if it sucks!
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+1
11:01PM on 10/10/2013
I get where he's coming from. Spawn, I think, at least in animated/live action form, was always more aimed towards action and superhero stuff. But I don't really think that's what it ever was. Even when the comic books had Spawn facing down all sorts of comic bookish characters, the tone was always still more noirish than a lot of comic books like it. And I think that's why, as a franchise, it always did very well. It was always very different from everything else, a lot darker and more focused
I get where he's coming from. Spawn, I think, at least in animated/live action form, was always more aimed towards action and superhero stuff. But I don't really think that's what it ever was. Even when the comic books had Spawn facing down all sorts of comic bookish characters, the tone was always still more noirish than a lot of comic books like it. And I think that's why, as a franchise, it always did very well. It was always very different from everything else, a lot darker and more focused on the characters and their struggles than on match ups and heroes vs. villains. If there's a new film, then I kind of agree, it should be more noirish, more about the characters and their struggles, with the action taking a backseat. I could definitely see a film from the point of view of Sam and Twitch. In that way, we would definitely get a more noir, detective oriented film. But it definitely needs a huge departure from the first live action film. None of that goofy, Shumacher-Batman oriented stuff. Something a lot darker and more grounded.

That said, McFarlane has been talking about a reboot for years. I'll believe when I see it. Considering how full of himself he is, I take Todd's words with a heavy grain of salt.
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+2
10:57PM on 10/10/2013

Hmmm

Really loved the spawn comics, but I think I'm done with this. It's too late. Are spawn comics still being made? I guess it won't be to hard to recoup that low budget, but I just dont think enough people know about the character or care anymore. An even more extreme case of Dredd, where the mainstream ppl remember a shitty older movie (and the original judge Dredd was a lot better than the original spawn). I understand Dredd was a solid movie, a lot better than what it should've been, but I
Really loved the spawn comics, but I think I'm done with this. It's too late. Are spawn comics still being made? I guess it won't be to hard to recoup that low budget, but I just dont think enough people know about the character or care anymore. An even more extreme case of Dredd, where the mainstream ppl remember a shitty older movie (and the original judge Dredd was a lot better than the original spawn). I understand Dredd was a solid movie, a lot better than what it should've been, but I just think the time has passed on this, if it even ever gets made. I mean, what the fuck else is he doing where he hasn't written the script yet? How long has he been talking ab this?
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9:31PM on 10/10/2013
McFarlane probably wanted a movie with the same tone as Spawn: Blood and Shadows. While it was an interesting book with a unique art style, it's also really boring.
Heck, the character was a blatant mishmash of Spider-Man, Venom, and Batman. Leaving out the super-anti-hero angle kinda make the character just look like a really nerdy looking boogeyman.
McFarlane probably wanted a movie with the same tone as Spawn: Blood and Shadows. While it was an interesting book with a unique art style, it's also really boring.
Heck, the character was a blatant mishmash of Spider-Man, Venom, and Batman. Leaving out the super-anti-hero angle kinda make the character just look like a really nerdy looking boogeyman.
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8:52PM on 10/10/2013
McFarlane comes off as really douchey. Okay, so maybe not quite as douchey as his contemporary and colleague Rob Liefeld, but close. There's a special feature on the Terminator 3 DVD in which he talks - well, boasts - about the McFarlane toys for the film and just comes across really poorly. Why take out the superhero element of a superhero movie? I don't it's that hard to make a Spawn film that's close to something like Blade II in tone.
McFarlane comes off as really douchey. Okay, so maybe not quite as douchey as his contemporary and colleague Rob Liefeld, but close. There's a special feature on the Terminator 3 DVD in which he talks - well, boasts - about the McFarlane toys for the film and just comes across really poorly. Why take out the superhero element of a superhero movie? I don't it's that hard to make a Spawn film that's close to something like Blade II in tone.
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10:54PM on 10/10/2013
He's always been a douche. He's a great artist and storyteller, but he's a douchebag of a person.
He's always been a douche. He's a great artist and storyteller, but he's a douchebag of a person.
8:27PM on 10/10/2013
So essentially this is going to be a crime thriller centered on a bunch of cops, with Spawn as a supporting role!?? The original was already not a "superhero" story, so why not stick to that but get the tone right this time?
So essentially this is going to be a crime thriller centered on a bunch of cops, with Spawn as a supporting role!?? The original was already not a "superhero" story, so why not stick to that but get the tone right this time?
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+4
7:35PM on 10/10/2013

Spawn w/out Spawn

WTF Todd!!!?? I don't say that I want a Matrix showdown between Spawn and Malebogia or whoever the villain's gonna be, but c'mon..... Spawn is gotta be present in the movie. No whisper or a presence or a ghost! He actually has to be in the movie. Is this going to be "Final Destination: Spawn" (less the meticulously and clever death scenes) ?
WTF Todd!!!?? I don't say that I want a Matrix showdown between Spawn and Malebogia or whoever the villain's gonna be, but c'mon..... Spawn is gotta be present in the movie. No whisper or a presence or a ghost! He actually has to be in the movie. Is this going to be "Final Destination: Spawn" (less the meticulously and clever death scenes) ?
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7:34PM on 10/10/2013
The Departed or LA Confedential with a ghost around it? The fuck does that even mean?!?!
The Departed or LA Confedential with a ghost around it? The fuck does that even mean?!?!
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7:30PM on 10/10/2013

Don't treat the source material with contempt please...

Reading Mcfarlane's "pitch" on this makes me realize that either I or he (probably me) doesn't fully understand the character of Spawn the way we think we do. Everything he's saying seems to go directly against the image of Spawn I have in my mind which is pretty much the picture at the top of the article. How in the world that character, who wears a cape, a mask and has "superpowers" fits into a world thats like the Departed or LA confidential while still doing justice to the concept might be
Reading Mcfarlane's "pitch" on this makes me realize that either I or he (probably me) doesn't fully understand the character of Spawn the way we think we do. Everything he's saying seems to go directly against the image of Spawn I have in my mind which is pretty much the picture at the top of the article. How in the world that character, who wears a cape, a mask and has "superpowers" fits into a world thats like the Departed or LA confidential while still doing justice to the concept might be beyond me. That being said I love a lot of what Mcfarlane has done and if he/they can pull it off than I'll stay open minded.
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