In a world where origin stories are rehashed every few years (looking at you, Batman…) Spawn creator Todd McFarlane hopes that the next film will present a fresh take for audiences.
The 1997 film Spawn (based on the comic) was ahead of the curve with darker themes for a comic book film adaptation, earning nearly $90 million in its theatrical run. While it was a moderate success in that sense, the film only received a 17% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes – with a sequel being in development hell since 1998. Every few years, there's a little more buzz surrounding the proposed sequel film with McFarlane constantly working on the title throughout the early '00s, but it would appear that a reboot film is now said to be in "active development," meaning Spawn might be getting a revamped cinematic appearance soon enough.
When talking to CBR, McFarlane discussed his reservations about the next chapter of a Spawn film which primarily stems from his hopes to avoid your traditional origin story. The comic creator explained to the publication, "I didn't want to do the comic book origin story from Issues #1-3 in the movie. We were looking for people, without even telling them that, to give something a little bit different. Unfortunately, 80-90% of them, according to the other person involved who was interviewing most of them, were falling into the trap of retelling the comic book story in the movie. We saw that movie; that movie came out 20+ years ago from New Line. So what haven't we seen that would be interesting and relevant today, both in terms of filmmaking and social content."
When it comes to superhero films, there's always a complicated path to navigate to avoid a standard rehash – and while those can be essential, it could also pay off to take a few risks. Too often, studios seem to depend on the success of an introductory story fleshing out interest for a franchise, so perhaps following characters with established backgrounds can be far more fulfilling than the repetitive structure that has become the norm of comic book adaptations.
What type of story would you hope to see in a future Spawn film?