For years, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane has been teasing his upcoming film adaptation of the beloved video game character. After all this time, it grew harder and harder to actually take his word seriously that this movie would ever happen.
Then last year, it was revealed that the film would, in fact, be happening, that he’d be teaming with Blumhouse Productions for the project, and would be writing and directing it. We know the film is set to be a real, hard-R movie, but how long will it be? Speaking with ComicBook.com, he broke down his process of whittling down his original script into a manageable length, and letting us know just how long he thinks the finished product will be.
“Technically, every story should have its own length; here’s how it works in Hollywood, as you know. They look at it that a page is a minute, right? So if you give them a 120-page script, they go ‘Okay, it’s a two-hour movie,’ and so historically Hollywood wants 120 pages. I know when I first finished [the script] it was 167, which is startling to some people, and then I whittled down to about 137, and then once I brought Jason Blum and Blumhouse on, we’ve been going back and forth working on it. And so the one that we’re now calling the final draft is, I believe, 115 pages?”
“I think because I’m writing for myself, I’m writing a little bit of exposition so that you, or an actor, or a manager, can read it and understand it; but in my mind, that thing that took four sentences is going to happen in [snaps fingers] maybe two-and-a-half seconds? So I don’t think it’s going to be a full two hours – just a little bit short of that – but it won’t be ninety minutes. It’ll be longer than ninety minutes.”
If you’re a new hand to the screenwriting format, his statement is, by and large, fairly accurate, but not exactly a fully accurate rule of thumb. For example, a script like Toy Story clocked in at north of 120 pages, and the final edit of the film ended up with a runtime of 81 minutes. It’s quite the discrepancy, but when you’re going in-depth with world-building in the description, there’s a good chance that a lot of that can be glossed over in seconds.
Ironically enough, if you have a dialogue-heavy film, this can also result in a bloated script, but shorter film. Pretty much, every story has its own rules based on its type, as well as how it’s written, so it’s hard to say. But based on everything he’s said, one hour and 45 minutes seems like a reasonable runtime to expect.
How long do you think the film should be? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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