It’s been less than a week since comic book artist Todd McFarlane announced he will write and direct an R-rated movie based on one of his most famous creations: Spawn. In the wake of Comic-Con International in San Diego, the soon-to-be director opened up about the project and some of his influences.
According to an interview with ComicBook.com, one of McFarlane's influences is the 1975 Steven Spielberg-directed Jaws, ostensibly a monster movie about a shark terrorizing a coastal town during tourist season. McFarlane said such a dynamic would work well in the kind of Spawn movie he’s planning.
"There's two big roles in the script,” McFarlane said. “There's obviously sort of Spawn himself, although in a weird way it's not the biggest role, and then there's the cop. The cop is this character Twitch who's been there since issue #1. Twitch is the role in this one, and I sort of refer to him as my sheriff Brody, who is the sheriff in the Jaws movie. Although it was called Jaws, Jaws didn't really talk a lot in his movie, right? He just kind of showed up at the opportune time to make the movie worthwhile."
If McFarlane’s claim holds weight, it sounds like Spawn will become more of a background character in the film -- no less a demonic arbiter of justice, but less overt than his comic book counterpart. The Twitch role McFarlane refers to is that of Maximilian Steven Percival "Twitch" Williams III, a character introduced in Spawn #1 alongside Detective Sam Burke. Sam and Twitch were at first opposed to Spawn’s brutal manner of tackling crime and corruption, but eventually came to respect his work.
Spawn #1 was first published in 1992 and created by McFarlane. The series starred a former black ops soldier, Al Simmons, who was returned to the land of the living after being murdered by one of his own squad members. Resurrected as a superpowered hellspawn, Simmons, who would adopt the moniker Spawn, was contracted by the demon Malebolgia and his servant Violator to do Hell’s bidding on Earth.
McFarlane has not yet revealed further details about his planned Spawn reboot, but did hint in the same interview that several Hollywood actors have reached out to him and that he is currently considering his collaboration options. McFarlane will join with Blumhouse Productions, the production company behind Get Out and The Purge series, to bring Spawn to the big screen.