Todd McFarlane Talks ‘Spawn’ Pitch, Low Budget Plans, and Scares

The popularity of “Spawn” is nowhere near what it was when the first film adaptation arrived in theaters (boasting a then incredible soundtrack), yet creator Todd McFarlane continues to tease fans with the possibility of a new (and hopefully way better) film. In an interview with the LA Times he reveals that with the success of the “Batman” and ‘Spider-Man” franchises, his phone has been ringing off the hook. But he says that he’s doesn’t like the idea of “some big special-effects movie with a supervillain in there,” instead opting for something smaller. You can read the details inside.
When asked about future adaptation effort, McFarlane stated:

SpawnOne of the things that happened is after the first movie came out I started the toy company and sort of got distracted. But these days, as you might imagine, with the [Hollywood] success of Batman and Spider-Man and some of the Marvel titles, everybody’s on a comic-book buying binge and the phone constantly rings. My attitude toward it is I can’t get my head wrapped around some big special-effects movie with a supervillain in there. There will be plenty of those and they’ve done pretty well.

I’ve always seen Spawn as being cut from a different cloth. It’s more of an urban, psychological story that’s being told. The answer I’ve given the last few years is that Spawn should be a small-budget movie in which the only thing that’s out of the ordinary is this thing that intellectually we know as Spawn and there would only be a handful of people that see it. I call it “it” because it never talks, it’s just a force of nature. Really, the story revolves around the people who are trying to decide: “Is the ghost alive? Is the shadow actually moving?” When I give that pitch, some of the executives scratch their heads. To a lot of people, a movie where the [title] character doesn’t talk doesn’t make any sense. There have been a few movies like that. “Alien,” you know, that guy didn’t say much. Or “Jaws,” the shark didn’t have too many speaking lines. “Jaws” is the closest example, the movie wasn’t about the shark, it’s about the people chasing the shark.

He continues on talking about his pitch:

The idea I pitch is that the movie shouldn’t be about superheroes and laser beams — it’s about the id of people and the group of people caught up in the story and seeing things out of the corner of their eye. And when I give the pitch, I also say that I will write and direct it. There’s the nonnegotiable pieces of it. Then I have four suitors who say, “Yeah, cool, when do we start?” It means we’re not looking for a $20-million actor and we’re not looking for a big-budget extravaganza with lots of special effects.

Continuing the thought of seeing things out of the corner of someone’s eye, McFarlane proposes that a new “Spawn” movie would be scary:

The story that I pitch is very tight, very contained, but done right. I want a movie that gets people’s hearts racing. I want to scare them. Spawn, done right, is a creepy character. Instead of a superhero who just stands there. That’s why Batman was always the coolest of all the good guys. I never had one moment of affinity for [Superman]. He was a Boy Scout right from the moment he hit the ground. He was always polite and said the right thing. I never felt like he was in danger because he could spin planets on his finger. Batman is a guy who could die if you threw him out of a window. More than that, even though he had women throwing themselves at him and millions of dollars, all he wanted to do was to wait until 3 a.m. and the pitch of black and say, “time to put the costume on and scare the bad guys.” I relate way more to that guy. Spawn is Batman untethered, without the corporation behind it. Batman without limits, Batman who kills the Joker.

Source: LA Times