The long-discussed return of Spawn to the big screen will be “a complete reboot” that will have more in common with recent low-budget supernatural horror than recent superhero blockbusters, creator Todd McFarlane promises.
It’s a $10 million, R-rated supernatural movie that takes all the superhero stuff out of it,” he told Assignment X. “So for people who want to go see an Iron Man redo, that’s not it. For people who like The Conjuring, then it’s going to be right up that alley.”
By comparison, The Conjuring had an estimated production budget of $20 million, and grossed more than $305 million worldwide (1997’s Spawn, which starred Michael Jai White, cost $40 million; that’s about $57 million by today’s dollars).
McFarlane also stressed that the reboot will be a supernatural thriller, rather that traditional horror. “Not ‘horror,’ because that’s a weird word, right?” he told. “Supernatural thriller. I grew up on things like Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen, things like that. Those movies only had one fantastic element in [them], and it was the supernatural or the ghost, and everything else in the world was normal. With superheroes, you have to have the hero, the super-villain, the fantastic headquarters, sometimes even the sidekick and you get more and more fantastic. This is just going to be The Departed and L.A. Confidential with a ghost moving around in it.”
He also addressed Jamie Foxx’s publicly stated desire to play Spawn.
“You know, Jamie was out at my office,” he admitted. “I thought we were going to keep it on the Q.T. I’ve talked to some pretty high-profile actors. I think he’s just putting the pressure on me to get the script done. So I sold him on my pitch. I go, ‘Here, I’ve got an idea that could keep you in the Spawn movies for twenty years, but it can’t be about physicality. It has to be more about a little bit of acting and then this specter, this sentinel, that moves around in an otherwise hard drama movie.'”