It’s been 20 years since Todd McFarlane‘s Image comic series “Spawn” was adapted to the big screen. Ever since, McFarlane has been talking about resurrecting the franchise, which has led to years and years of talk from the comic book maestro. It’s actually become a bit tiring, making us all wonder at what stage this process actually is in.
Just yesterday, we posted this story in which McFarlane explained that the next Spawn, for which he plans to direct, will be a “Dark ‘R’.“ He used both Deadpool and Logan as examples of R-rated genre success stories, which made us wonder just how close he was to getting this movie made. So we did some digging (I’m nosey, what can I say?). What I learned, exclusively, is that McFarlane just recently completed his first draft of Spawn. The script that’s been going around town is dated “February 15, 2017,” which means he was probably putting the finishing touches on the script instead of enjoying Valentine’s Day.
This is actually big huge news considering how long we’ve been talking about this alleged remake. This goes as far back as our story in 2012 in which we reported that McFarlane and Neil Gaiman had settled a long standing legal battle over character rights. In fact, we can go all the way back to 2011 in which McFarlane talked about his low budget ambition for the Spawn film.
“The story that I pitch is very tight, very contained, but done right,” he explained. “I want a movie that gets people’s hearts racing. I want to scare them. Spawn, done right, is a creepy character.”
In March 2011 he offered even more details, explaining: “In this new version, there are no supervillains, archenemies or any of that. It’s just a spook movie, something scary going bump in the night.”
Over the years he’s reiterated much of the same, which made us start to think this was all some weird lucid dream in which he thought he was developing a new Spawn movie. What’s strange, however, is in the 2011 bit he also explained that he was “three quarters through it,” adding that, “I’ll finish it and put it on a shelf for about a week. What usually happens is, I come back to it so I can see all the flaws. I do a rewrite and there’s a first draft at that point.”
It’s not a good sign that he’s been developing this for several years. I would never tell an aspiring writer to keep working on the same script over and over again. It’s the worst advice. It truly makes me wonder if the “first draft” screenplay is a jumbled mess that will no way see the light of day. With that said, I admire McFarlane’s spirit and honesty over the years and hope that he gets to see his dream project realized. It would be awesome to see the Spawn universe reignited once again.