Todd McFarlane has been talking about a Spawn reboot movie since at least 2007, and eventually, Blumhouse got involved – but nothing has materialized. Even after announcing that both Jamie Foxx and Jeremy Renner would both appear in the reboot, there’s been almost no real movement on the project. It’s gotten to the point where McFarlane’s Spawn reboot feels like a weird, sick joke – something he keeps talking about even though we all know it’ll never happen. Now, original Spawn star Michael Jai White has weighed in with the following message: “Okay, good luck with that!”
Created in the 1990s by Todd McFarlane, Spawn featured a character design that asked, “What if Venom had a Dracula cape and some cool chains?” The dark and gritty comic inspired a surprisingly good animated series on HBO and a not surprisingly awful live-action movie released in 1997. The film featured Michael Jai White as Al Simmons, a soldier who gets murdered and ends up in Hell. Once there, the devil – who is named Malebolgia for some reason – recruits Al to be the leader of the armies of Hell. Al agrees and becomes Spawn, but then tries to fight the forces of evil and protect his family. It’s not a bad idea, story-wise, but the execution is dreadful. Critics tore it apart and it took in about $87.9 million at the worldwide box office.
And ever since then, Todd McFarlane has been planning his big Spawn comeback. Now, as we continue to wait, original Spawn Michael Jai White has humorously spoken about the reboot. In an interview with CBR, White said: “[Todd McFarlane’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.”
While White doesn’t come right out and say “Wow, this sounds silly!”, you can read between the lines. Of course, this all may be moot, because it really seems like this movie is never getting made. While talk of the reboot started around 2007, things became official in 2017 when it was announced at Comic-Con that Blumhouse would be producing the reboot, and that McFarlane himself would direct. McFarlane would go on to say that this new film would draw inspiration from Jaws, and that Spawn wouldn’t even be the main character in what promised to be a hard-R-rated film. Later, word came that Jamie Foxx would be playing Spawn, and Jeremy Renner would play Detective “Twitch” Williams, a cop investigating Spawn’s doings. Legendary make-up effects artist Greg Nicotero also came on board the project.
Despite all of these announcements, the movie just…never happened. Summer of 2019 was announced as a potential start date, but that came and went without incident. That didn’t stop McFarlane from continuing to talk about the movie, though, saying things like “There’s gonna be no fun lines in it, and it’s just gonna be this dark, ugly two hours worth of movie.” Wow, sounds cool! But McFarlane also added that he was prepared to walk away from the project entirely if anyone dared fuck with his screenplay:
“The money’s sitting on the sidelines ready to go. I just need to get everyone that wants to put in money to shake their heads to the same script. As you can imagine, everyone has a slightly different version of it in their head. You just go and trying to appease a handful of people while not giving in to what it is that I’m trying to do myself. Because if I have to change it too much, I’ll just walk away from it all.”
As of now, the film remains in limbo. Will we ever get to see Spawn as an ethereal fog? Stay tuned!
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