McFarlane spoke to Deadline asserting the Sleepless star will take up the role of Al Simmons, taking the live-action mantle of the famed Image Comics character previously held in 1998 by actor and martial arts star Michael Jai White. The new film will be rebooted by none other than McFarlane himself who is quoted at Deadline with fervor in explaining his intentions to producers who are either recalcitrant or too confused by all the Marvel and DC hoopla to know what from what regarding this particular venture in which our dark, R-rated anti-hero will be a largely silent one:
New Line Cinema
Comic book creator and regular social media art tutor Todd McFarlane made some dreams come true over the summer when he officiated his R-rated Spawn reboot with Blumhouse. On Thursday, he took to New York Comic-Con to confirm post-Christmae pre-production for a February start date, reportedly promising a “dark and R-rated,” induction far more toned grimly than Tim Miller’s Deadpool.
“It’s going to be dark,” McFarlane said, explaining that Spawn won’t be a standard superhero movie and its darkness will spring from a realistic drama that will play on fear. “I will have a shark in black water,” he said metaphorically, “and if you’re swimming he will come and you’ll be gone and he will f*ck you up.”
He also affirmed the film he will be able to touch base and share tidbits with fans via live Facebook video during production, a perk feasible largely on the count of having financial control; The film will reportedly be budgeted at $10 million dollars with the possibility of backing from Universal Pictures with whom Blumhouse’s own Jason Blum has a first look deal.
“The only things we need from them,” he said, “are distribution and marketing. We don’t need your input, we don’t need your cash, we don’t need your creativity – and they don’t like those deals. They always want the budget to go up because then they have to put money in it and then they own it.”
An audience member then questioned McFarlane regarding his own confidence in being able to direct his first film. In turn, McFarlane answered, citing his opportune craft in comic book drawing and the Grammy he earned in 2000 for the hit music video from KoЯn, titled “Freak On A Leash”, which he produced a few years after launching McFarlane Entertainment.
“…I didn’t use to draw comic books and I drew comic books and I won awards. I don’t know how to read music and I have a Grammy Award.
“I’m spending my own money so who cares if it doesn’t work out. It’s a $10 million budget movie, and (a studio) would just get a 22-year-old punk director. I just want to be the old punk directing it.”
The new Spawn reboot will mark the first attempt at a live action adaptation of McFarlane’s long-running comic book IP since it landed action star Michael Jai White as the first African-American to portray a major comic superhero in the 90s. There’s no official word yet on casting. (Deadline)
“Having worked with many visionary directors, I think Todd’s unique artistic talents will only add to his role as director of this film,” Blum said in statement.