It’s been ages since we’ve had any real update concerning Blumhouse’s new remake of the Image Comics character Spawn, the feature film coming from comic book creator Todd Todd McFarlane who originally planned on writing and directing.
Producer Jason Blum gave a brief update to Inverse stating they’re still working on the story and will be making a much more edgy version compared the original live-action film released back in 1997.
BLUM: “It’s gonna be very different, it’s gonna be very edgy. What excited me about it is that Spawn is kind of the last great unexploited comic. So that seemed like an amazing opportunity. It’s taken longer than I hoped it would have to get the story right, but we’re still working on it.”
The version of Spawn seen in both the comics and the excellent HBO animated series as considered “edgy”. If you’re unfamiliar with Spawn, Al Simmons is a government assassin that murdered by his handlers then sent to hell. There he is given a chance to return to Earth to see his wife Wanda one more time if he leads hell’s army as the Hellspawn. As the Hellspawn, he decides to rebuff the offer and becomes a violent crime fighter going after mobsters, assassins, crooked cops, and a pedophile serial killer named Billy Kincaid.
From some of the comments made by Todd McFarlane he was going to attempt something that vastly deviated from his original version of Spawn which, to me, sounded like it would turn off a lot of fans of the franchise. Seemingly focusing on Twitch’s perspective and making Spawn more of a boogeyman figure. A concept that sounded like it was based on securing a smaller than normal budget so that Todd could keep creative control and direct.
The character made waves because at the time there weren’t too many popular African-American superheroes at the level of Spawn, the character and merchandise was everywhere before the ridiculous feature film make him a bit of a joke. A slight issue with the rights to Spawn is that Todd and Blumhouse can’t use franchise characters like mob boss Tony Twist (due to civil suit), Angela (sold to Marvel by creator Neil Gaiman), and Chapel (owned by Rob Liefeld via Youngblood).
Spawn got a little bit of a cultural revival recently thanks to joining the DLC character lineup of Mortal Kombat 11, voiced by Keith David, who played Spawn on the HBO series.
At one time, Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained, Baby Driver, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Miami Vice) was announced to play Al Simmons aka Spawn with Jeremy Renner (Hurt Locker, The Avengers) to play an incarnation of Detective Maximilian “Twitch” Williams. Both are currently busy with Marvel Cinematic Universe projects as Foxx will be playing a version of villain Electro in Jon Watt’s Spider-Man 3 and Renner is reprising the Clint Barton role in a Hawkeye series for Disney+.
They had once planned on shooting the Spawn in Toronto, but it remains to be seen if they’ll stick with that location if cameras ever start rolling on the remake. Makeup and special effects artist Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead, Watchmen, Preacher) was also expected to work on the film, something I first reported in the summer of 2018.