This past weekend Deadpool kicked the box office’s ass, and by doing so has opened the door for other risky films to follow in its path. I spoke about this a few hours ago, and alluded to the fact that Deadpool makes it possible for an R-rated Wolverine, which has just been announced, as well as other properties that studio’s may have been too scared to pull the trigger on.
My belief is that Todd McFarlane’s Spawn is one such case. He’s been talking about his own adaptation for years now, so much so that I hesitate covering any updates. But the timing is really good here and I’m sensing McFarlane is seeing an opportunity to get a major studio behind a reboot of Spawn.
Things get really good here when McFarlane reveals that his Spawn, which he intends to direct, will be a “Hard R” in the vein of a horror film. Shit, he compares Spawn to the Boogeyman and even states that it will be along the lines of if The Departed met Paranormal Activity – without all of the visual effects!
“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.”
He likens Spawn’s presence in the new movie to that of the lurking evil in Japanese horror films (and their Hollywood remakes) like ‘The Grudge’ or ‘The Ring.’
“I think they all work because there’s only one thing in the movie that’s not normal. There’s not five things, there’s one thing that’s the boogeyman. So that’ll be Spawn,” he said. “He’s this thing that just whooshes in, this ghost that moves and will f*** you up if you’re in the wrong place in the wrong time, and the rest of the movie will look real, and be this real drama. He’s just this ghost, this thing behind it.”
It’s a take on the character, moving even farther from the superhero comics that birthed it, that McFarlane has been wanting to explore for awhile, but it also has a practical application.
“Basically, I can make this version of the movie on a budget without crazy special effects,” he said with a slight chuckle. “I want to keep it small, keep it tight, so they’ll let me direct it!”
I made it clear that I’m not a fan of New Line’s 1997 adaptation of McFarlane’s Image comic book character, but it did spawn (pun intended) one of the best movie soundtracks of all-time, and John Leguizamo’s performance as Clown was absolutely brilliant. There are cool things about it, but ultimately I would love to see McFarlane’s own personal vision on screen. As an artist and an entrepreneur it’s pretty clear that he truly cares and tries to make the best products he can for his fans (his “Spawn” toys were the first of their kind and paved the way for other premium action figure releases). Let’s hope we get to see his final vision for Spawn, too!