A Spawn feature film reboot has been in the works for over two decades as the character had been widely popular in the 1990s with the original Image Comics run, a toyline, video games, an animated series on HBO, and lackluster feature film released back in 1997 that had some of the worst CGI of that decade in a major motion picture.
Spawn focuses on Al Simmons, a murderous government assassin who is killed and while in hell makes a deal to lead their army as the Hellspawn if can say goodbye to his wife Wanda. During this brief time on Earth he decides to take own his killers and a local mob boss with his new powers as he attempts to protect Wanda’s new family alongside his homeless cohorts.
It’s comic book creator Todd McFarlane had eventually convinced Blumhouse Pictures to get involved allowing him to write and direct the film, however, there have been multiple hiccups despite landing Jamie Foxx as Al Simmons aka Spawn and Jeremy Renner as Detective Twitch (bizarre casting).
Comic Book Resources caught-up with the original film’s actor Michael Jai White, who starred in the live-action film from 1997 to get his impression of the reboot being pursued by Todd McFarlane and Blumhouse Pictures. It sounds like White isn’t terribly convinced of either the way they want to make the film or if Todd is the right person to execute it as the director.
WHITE: “He’s been trying to get a new movie up and going for 23 years so I don’t know. [Laughs] The last time I saw him, he was telling me about his idea of Spawn being ethereal fog that you don’t see, like Jaws, and he strikes and you never see him and I’m like ‘Okay, good luck with that!’.
“Personally, I wish him well, that would be a major investment.”
“I don’t know Todd to be a director at all. It’s kind of like Stan Lee: He created the character but he doesn’t direct him and I guess somebody would have to pony up a lot of money for Todd McFarlane to direct for his first time directing this movie idea that he has. I’ve heard about Jamie Foxx starring in it and wish them well. I don’t know, maybe it continues because this is what people like to hear from Todd McFarlane. He can get attention by promising another Spawn; I don’t get it.”
Despite positive talk from both Todd and Blumhouse’s Jason Blum about the impending feature film still in scripting stages, it doesn’t feel like they’ll be shooting anytime soon. There had been some information a couple of years ago that they were almost about to begin shooting in Toronto when the whole thing was unplugged at the last minute, currently still in active development.
As a fan of the source material, I’m perplexed that they want to deviate so much from the Spawn mythology to create something that fans will have trouble supporting. It mostly feels like a budgetary thing to give Todd creative freedom and his shot at directing a studio film rather than making a project that a majority of fans would embrace alongside a general audience, even though this will be a niche film with limited appeal to begin with.
SOURCE: COMIC BOOK RESOURCES