Comic book creator Todd McFarlane teased a big announcement at Comic-Con 2022 for the upcoming Spawn movie reboot. First created in 1992 for Image Comics, Spawn is a dark antihero who was once a government assassin before he was killed and returned to the realm of the living after making a Faustian deal to become a Hellspawn. In 1997 the first live-action film adaptation starring Michael Jai White in the titular role was released in theaters, but it failed to strike a chord with critics and it mostly garnered negative reviews. The film also suffered from having its original R-rated cut toned down by producers to achieve a PG-13 rating. These disappointments aside, it still resulted in the creation of an animated series that would run on HBO for three seasons.
In early 2015 McFarlane announced that he was working on a fresh reboot of the property which he not only intended to pen but also to serve as his directorial debut. Set to be produced by horror film production company Blumhouse, and at one point Jamie Foxx was attached to star in the title role alongside lead Jeremy Renner (who helped convince Foxx to join too). Since its original announcement however, the project has faced numerous delays though McFarlane has remained ardent in his constant attempts to get the film off the ground. Then in August last year, a new writer, Brian Tucker, was brought on board to provide a new version of the script.
Screen Rant hosted the comic book legend at their San Diego Comic-Con 2022 media suite and asked McFarlane about whether he had any further news on his planned Spawn film. Confirming that despite delays due to the pandemic the project is still moving forward and is “adding pieces.” McFarlane reveals that he has some big news planned for New York Comic Con in October:
We decided, “You know what, let’s just do it in New York.” We’ll do it in New York [Comic Con].
Are we moving? Are we adding pieces? All of the above, yes. The best I can say right now, besides all that’s been happening, is that it kind of got slowed down during the pandemic and then picked back up. Especially given that, for a while, the only movies people were going to during the pandemic were superhero movies – minus James Bond. Now you get Maverick, and some of the big blockbusters that are coming back to normal.
But at New York Comic Con, there is going to be a big announcement.
With comic book movies dominating a significant portion of the box office, the time for Spawn to make a theatrical return is riper than ever especially as it can explore a different tone than the competition. Movie-going audiences are also far more accustomed to the prospect of an R-rated comic adaptation, with films like Joker, Deadpool and Logan proving that studios can branch out beyond a family-friendly PG rating and still do well at the box office. In order for a Spawn reboot to properly honor its comic book origins and succeed it will inevitably need to chase a similar rating, unlike its predecessor.
While it is disappointing that McFarlane does not have more specific news to share at this weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con, fans will be overjoyed to hear that the project is still firmly in the pipeline. With any luck the big news he is teasing for October will include a potential release date, allowing Spawn fans to begin marking their calendars in anticipation. Fans will undoubtedly also be keeping their fingers crossed that Foxx and Renner are still involved in the project after all this time.