Spawn was the comic that sparked Image Comics’ success in 1992 as a publisher of auteurist, challenging titles managed by the industry’s star-creators. Spawn’s creator, Todd McFarlane, has recently been working on the screenplay for the second live-action adaptation of his comic (the less said about the first, the better). Will his involvement in the project mean that we can expect a similar level of innovation in his approach to superhero movies?
McFarlane has not been coy with dropping hints about the project. For instance, he most recently revealed the setting of Blumhouse’s Spawn reboot:
“There are different places that give incentives for you to come and shoot the movies there. So, we’re going to be looking at all those given that, you know we’re not going to have a big budget, so we’re going to want to stretch it as far as we can, right. And so, but, at the same time given that this world takes place in New York, we’re going to have to be in a place that can be somewhat convincing at times, especially for some exterior shots… though my guess, I’ll probably have to do a couple pick up shots actually here in New York City, but you know, so, you’re looking at places like Detroit, and Cleveland and, I’m Canadian, Toronto.”
While New York is hardly unfamiliar territory for modern superhero movies, especially once we count in the various analogues to New York City (Gotham City, Metropolis), this reboot’s small budget suggests a different type of setting to what we have seen before.
Spawn is absolutely an R-rated comic, and this adaptation’s smaller budget will naturally lead to a greater amount of flexibility to adapt the material appropriately. McFarlane is directing the reboot, and while he has yet to prove himself as a director, hopefully his guiding hand will help maintain the comic’s sensibilities through the transition from comic to film.
The fact that McFarlane expects to only need a minimal amount of shots to establish the New York City skyline is likewise telling that the story will focus on the gutters of New York, the back alleys in which so much of the comic is also set.
Todd McFarlane and Blumhouse’s live-action Spawn reboot is expected to begin filming February 2018.