Todd McFarlane Says His R-Rated ‘Spawn’ Movie Will Be “Ugly, Dark, Almost Disturbing”

Image credit: Image Comics

It’s not often that one markets a film project as a joyless and ugly time at the movies, but it seems to be just right for a film focusing on comic book antihero Spawn.

Todd McFarlane has been trying to get a film adaptation of his creation off the ground for years, and it’s finally getting close to happening. While funding is still being secured, it appears the pieces are coming together, and he’s even got a lead actor attached in the form of Oscar winner Jamie Foxx and Jeremy Renner also on board in a key role.

One possible reason as to why it’s taken so long for more studios to jump on board (Jason Blum is on board as a key producer via Blumhouse) is how dark he wants the film to be. McFarlane’s already confirmed that the film will likely be getting an R rating in the US, and by the sounds of it, it’s going to be one grim outing.

“I want to go in a different corner that nobody is touching right now,” McFarlane, who is to direct the film from a screenplay he penned, told the folks at Nerdist, “which is a deeply serious, dark, almost disturbing R version of a superhero character.”

So, no lighthearted quips and positive heroics to enjoy? No. If you’re after a lift me up, look elsewhere.

“There’s no joy. There’s gonna be no fun lines in it, and it’s just gonna be this dark, ugly two hours’ worth of movie, which is essentially what a lot of supernatural/horror movies are anyway. There’s not a lot of funny in them. And that seems to be a weird hurdle for a lot of people in this city to get over because they sort of go into a superhero/Avengers default all the time.”

When you’re dealing with a character that’s killed innocents as a black ops soldier, is sent to Hell after being killed, and makes a deal to return to reunite with his wife, only to find that he has returned as a demonic being and that his wife has married his best friend, yeah, a dark and ugly time is understandable.

Let’s hope this new Spawn movie comes into fruition shortly. Stay tuned.


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Guillermo, Founder and Manager of Screen Realm, lives and breathes all things screen and pop culture. He has over eight years' experience in the media landscape in a career that has encompassed television, radio, and the online space. When he's not working hard on Screen Realm, you can find him at a local Sydney cinema or catching up on his ever-growing list of must-watch TV shows. He's also started a video podcast with his wife, Cassandra. Find the LOUD OBSERVERS right HERE.