– by David Kozlowski

Years from now someone’s going to write a story about how Deadpool and Logan forever altered the trajectory of superhero films — hopefully for the better. In an era of sprawling, big-budget, family-friendly blockbusters these two films embraced the darkness, emerging as mid-budgeted, R-rated alternatives to the established genre’s formula. The success of these two films shocked Hollywood, and opened the doors to smaller, more personal works that emphasized character over spectacle (though each was still packed with epic action).

Since then there’s been something of a gold rush to copy Deadpool and Logan’s successes, as studios seek to capitalize on the lessons-learned and best-practices realized in each. Upcoming superhero films like Venom and Hellboy — both built upon inherently dark subject-matter — are embracing mature themes, graphic violence, horror elements, and R-ratings. It’s a trend that’s only gaining momentum, although DC has yet to pile onto this bandwagon with any of their live-action films (their recent animated Justice League Dark movie is a hard-R).

Related – New Punisher Teaser Doubles Down On Espionage Aspects

According to Screen Rant, the upcoming Spawn reboot will also be a low-budget superhero movie and rated-R. The film’s producers relate that creator Todd McFarlane is working with Blumhouse Productions (Paranormal Activity, Split, Get Out) to bring the antihero to the big screen.

McFarlane is quoted as describing the movie as “dark” and “nasty,” and also (rather unexpectedly) similar to Spielberg’s Jaws:

“[Jaws] showed up at the opportune time to make the movie worthwhile. This Spawn movie is a kind of superhero movie, but a very different kind of feeling superhero movie. I like the idea of low-budget superhero movies. It’s cool.”

McFarlane also intimated that the character Twitch — ex-cop and private investigator — will be central to the story; essentially he’s the “Sheriff Brody” character from Jaws, to extend that metaphor. The Jaws reference also implies that Spawn won’t fully appear on-screen until later in the movie, but that’s just speculation.

Deadpool, Logan, Venom, Hellboy, and now Spawn have all embraced character-centric, mid-budgeted, and R-rated storytelling, hopefully this results in non-formulaic narratives with packed full of unexpected twists and turns. The genre needs a good kicking, and these seem like just the anti-heroes to do it.

What would a PG-13 Spawn reboot even look like and would you bother to see it? Let us know in the comments down below!

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SOURCE: Screen Rant

  • M@rvel

    I’m fine with low budget, but if the special effects aren’t quality then I ain’t payin

    • Kindofabigdeal

      Pirate Bay is always looking for matey’s.

  • Kindofabigdeal

    So we will see the action from Spawn’s point of view? If so, we’re gonna need a bigger clown.

  • underdogchamp

    I definitely like the idea of embracing dark source material. I loved the 90’s animated run of Spawn and I enjoyed the live action feature more than most because superhero movies were still novel back then. But I’m not sold on the idea of the Jaws approach. Does that mean we don’t get to see Spawn in the first two acts? One thing I found refreshing about Kong: Skull Island is it didn’t waste any time getting to hot Kong action. Forcing the viewer to wait forever to see the monster is a tired old trope that needs to rest.

    • Great question. I suspect the Jaws reference implies that we’ll see Spawn in the shadows or only fleeting moments of him for the first act, and then in acts 2-3 he’ll step out of the shadows. I hope that’s not the case, but that’s how I’m reading these quotes.

  • Victor Roa

    well the thing is Spawns Hell was always a bit too much mumbo jumbo compared to the gritty real world which is what a lot of fans enjoyed….. cyber gorillas also.

  • Madcap2112

    This guy’s delusional.

    • Which guy? Me or McFarlane (I’m willing to agree on either).

      • Madcap2112

        McFarlane. He’s been at this for how long?

  • Black_Ace

    Hopefully it means one day we’ll have a hard-R rated SAVAGE DRAGON movie with John Cena in the lead role. Ultra-violent and chocked full of gratuitous naked chicks. Guns. Superheroes. Bewbz. What more do you need?

    • Sadly, not enough people know Erik Larsen’s Savage Dragon. The range and types of characters in that universe are amazing. I’d love to see this happen someday!

  • Mad Barchetta

    I’m not a huge fan of Spawn or McFarlane, but I’m intrigued by this idea. The idea that we’d be getting to know Spawn through the eyes of others has the potential to be a very cool shift. We’ve always gotten our origin stories from the perspective of the hero/anti-hero. Batman was always set up to be this frightening persona, but that gets diluted for the audience by watching him as a child in flashbacks or getting his 20-something ass handed to him by thugs, or struggling with his ninja-training, or whatever. We get to know the human in the suit, which diminishes our experience of him as the monster in the darkness. With this, we get to witness what it’s like to try to catch or maybe even SEE Spawn, almost like hunting Bigfoot or something. Perhaps they can build up his mythic qualities and, at the same time, our awe at seeing this almost legendary type of beast when he finally does appear to us. We won’t know the person inside, or even IF he is a human. Rather cool idea.

    Also probably more effective for those not already very familiar with his story, but some of those folks may very well be in the audience, too. Remember: not everyone was pleased with how that worked out in Godzilla (2014). Still, kudos to them for approaching this from a different angle.

    • Great points. I think it could be cool to see Spawn through the eyes of different characters, it’s a model that Cloverfield and Super-8 also followed, to varying degrees of success. The question is: how does the audience connect with the character if we’re only engaging from a distance?

      That said, I would love to see a Batman film where he’s really treated like the bogeyman, popping out of shadows and being an actual urban legend. This was the entire premise of DC Comic’s Gotham Central, which focused on the cops but still delivered at least a few Batman sightings each issue. It was really brilliant stuff!

      • Mad Barchetta

        Yeah, that will be the great trick, if they can pull it off – take this briefly glimpsed urban legend type of character and then midway through the movie, let us meet him and get us to also care about him as something more than an engine of destruction. That’s what we didn’t get with Jaws.

        In Jaws, it was…”Oh, look! It’s him! Ahhhh! He ate Quint!”
        In Cloverfield, it was… “Oh, look! It’s him! Ahhhh! He ate Hud!”
        In Super-8, it was…”Oh, look! It’s him! He didn’t eat anyone, but he’s ugly! Let’s help him leave!”

        I’m not sure I can recall a movie in which a similar shadowy character was then shown to be someone the audience could really connect with. Maybe the Prisoner of Azkaban? Sirius black was this mysterious rumoured psychopath for most of that, but then came to Harry’s rescue.

        And, yeah…that would be a really cool idea for a Batman film!

  • Fallout Boy!

    This will go meh…

  • syambo87

    “[Jaws] showed up at the opportune time to make the movie worthwhile. This Spawn movie is a kind of superhero movie, but a very different kind of feeling superhero movie. I like the idea of low-budget superhero movies. It’s cool.”

    Sounds like he likes low budget movies because it doesn’t cost a lot to make and if its a success… $$$….

    i wish his comment would be more like in the lines of “The Success of Low Budget Superhero Movies today is truly phenomenal in that studios are more willing to take more risks and make movies based on less Mainstream Characters and are more willing to try new things and tell new stories… Spawn is a Survivor who lost everything… he has a choice to not care about anyone anymore… he’s a tortured soul… he doesn’t have to care… but because he does care… that’s what makes him a Superhero… ”

    I think spawn if done right could be a truly motivational movie… a guy who is top of his game has everything… a gorgeous wife… a beautiful daughter… a well paying job… friends… he’s the best at his job…

    then to die and be brought back to life but to lose it all… how do you pick yourself up from that low point in life? everyone has pretty much been there … he would probably just commit suicide like some people if they’re just too deep in misery… maybe they could show it and hes brought back each time… now he has no choice but to live his days… so how do you find meaning when dying is no longer an option? … then he starts helping people… stopping bullies… feeding cats…when he helps peoples… he has a purpose…

    I’d love to see him reborn and finding out his wife is remarried to his best friend of all people… then he finds out Trump is President… then he yells at Maleboglia… “AAAHHHHH…What is this Horse Shit?!!! Where the Hell Am I?”… then the clown says…”its the Future!!!”

  • Tonk99

    McFarlane needs to crawl back to the Hell-hole whence he came. I refer of course to Liefeld’s arse.

  • Mike Spiteri

    I fear this movie is going to be bad, and not in a good bad way.

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.