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Why Spawn Creator Doesn’t Want Movie So Focused On Special Effects

Spawn creator Todd McFarlane has stated he does not want his character’s reboot film dominated by special effects or computer generated animations. The original Spawn film was released in 1997, and Hollywood is giving the demonic anti-hero a second chance on the big screen. A release date for the Spawn film is not yet known, but the pace of developments has rapidly picked up as of late.


Spawn is a product of neither Marvel nor DC, and runs under the third most prominent brand, Image Comics. The reboot film has struggled to takeoff since joining up with Blumhouse Productions in 2017, but Jamie Foxx has remained committed to star as Spawn throughout the preproduction saga. The creative team landed talented comic book minds to author the script in Scott Silver of Joker notoriety and Malcolm Spellman, one of Marvel’s aces responsible for creating The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and currently tasked with writing Captain America 4.

Speaking from a booth at New York Comic Con, McFarlane discussed the vision behind the upcoming Spawn film and posted his segment to his Instagram page. He explained that Silver and Spellman have a proven resume for penning comic book films, but Spawn is a dramatic and narrative challenge unlike any existing story. Read McFarlane’s comments, reshared by GameSpot, below:

“I’m more concerned [about whether] if [Scott Silver] and Malcolm can do the drama. I know they can do the comic book stuff, but everybody wants to do something different where superhero movies are concerned here. Nobody on our team wants to do a $200M special effects extravaganza. I’ve done that move. I’ve seen that movie.”

Why Todd McFarlane Is Right About Spawn’s Special Effects

McFarlane wants to see special effects used tastefully and sparingly, but that’ll be a challenge as Spawn’s superhuman abilities likely break the limits of what is reasonable through practical effects. Foxx detailed the Spawn movie costume, revealing the character’s cape, a sentient weapon that feeds on its owner’s nervous system, would fill the screen as it did in the comic panels and animated series. The video effects for the original Spawn film were mostly produced by the George Lucas-created VFX house Industrial Light & Magic, and the late addition of VFX shots while the movie was already in production resulted in a mix of both believable and dubious animation. McFarlane, who served as the executive producer on the first film and was once angling to direct the reboot, likely doesn’t want to see an unplanned VFX overload repeat itself or allow the Spawn characters to take a backseat to graphics.

While McFarlane detests Hollywood’s slow pace and overdone CGI, he is acutely aware of another studio inclination: franchising comic book films after a successful launch. McFarlane previously said a Spawn cinematic universe populated by his 300+ characters could be platformed if the Spawn reboot resonates with viewers, and finds the success that other R-rated franchises like Deadpool and Joker have found. The writers have only just been assigned to the film, and key details like the featured villain, supporting cast, and official director are still unknown.

Source: Todd McFarlane via GameSpot

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