Who here remembers the comic book charts of the Nineties? It almost always only populated by X-Men titles – usually nine X-Men titles… and Spawn. Yup, the caped crusader from Hell has fallen a bit from his high perch two decades ago, when the more indie-centric Image and Top Cow studios caused tectonic shifts in the comic book world.
Spawn led that charge. Its biggest impact is still felt today: prior to the first generation of Spawn figurines, everything looked like something you’d get in a Happy Meal today.
But even in pure comic weight, Spawn is a classic. The first 50 or so issues are still amazing today. And it also, er, spawned a great animated show, produced by none other than HBO.
Unfortunately the one thing this comic DIDN’T do was break the comic book movie curse.
Since comic book movies became a big market we’ve been spoilt for choice. But outside of Tim Burton’s Batman films, the genre prior to the 21st century is a museum of bad ideas. Some, like Punisher, have become cult classics, but most are a sound lesson in mediocrity. Yet even by that standard Spawn managed to set the bar.
There was worse made, but 1997’s Spawn stands out for a film that got really close to making a cinematic legend and yet also missed the mark so widely it’s a wonder anyone even tried. The only exception was John Liguizamo’s on-the-head portrayal of The Clown, the more-charismatic version of Spawn’s nemesis, The Violator.
Well, even in Hell you get a second chance. Todd McFarlane has revealed he is finishing a new Spawn script, adding that he needs to trim it down a bit.
“I’ve finished the script, and I’m in the process of editing,” McFarlane told ComicBook when asked for an update. “It’s 183 pages, and [producers] usually like 120. I still think it’s going to end up being about 140, because I’m putting in details for myself.”
That’s because McFarlane also hopes to direct the film, so he’s writing the script as “a director’s script.” The trimming is still necessary so he can get it to “a spot where I can walk this into Hollywood and start hooking the actors,” he said.
So, reading between the lines, he has something resembling a script and nobody has shown interest yet. McFarlane might be hoping to rattle the cage for some fan support and approach a few studios. That’s not really news… there are probably a few Spawn scripts doing the rounds. But McFarlane, who also had a lot of creative input with the 1997 movie, probably refuses to consider them since he wants control over his creation.
Still, it’s an apt reminder that a Spawn movie would be really cool, especially with how the genre has matured. If the world is ready for Deadpool (and let’s be honest, it only recently became ready), the time might be right for Hell’s worst hiring decision.
Just look at this fan film:
That’s a FAN FILM. Someone give Spawn the equivalent of a poor island nation’s GDP and make second time the charm.
Last Updated: February 16, 2016