Todd McFarlane Talks More About His Interest In A SPAWN Movie
I’ve always seen Spawn as being cut from a different cloth. It’s more of an urban, psychological story that’s being told. The answer I’ve given the last few years is that Spawn should be a small-budget movie in which the only thing that’s out of the ordinary is this thing that intellectually we know as Spawn and there would only be a handful of people that see it. I call it “it” because it never talks, it’s just a force of nature. Really, the story revolves around the people who are trying to decide: “Is the ghost alive? Is the shadow actually moving?” When I give that pitch, some of the executives scratch their heads. To a lot of people, a movie where the
character doesn’t talk doesn’t make any sense. There have been a few movies like that. Alien, you know, that guy didn’t say much. Or Jaws, the shark didn’t have too many speaking lines.Jaws is the closest example, the movie wasn’t about the shark, it’s about the people chasing the shark.
The idea I pitch is that the movie shouldn’t be about superheroes and laser beams — it’s about the id of people and the group of people caught up in the story and seeing things out of the corner of their eye. And when I give the pitch, I also say that I will write and direct it. There’s the nonnegotiable pieces of it. Then I have four suitors who say, “Yeah, cool, when do we start?” It means we’re not looking for a $20-million actor and we’re not looking for a big-budget extravaganza with lots of special effects.
The story that I pitch is very tight, very contained, but done right. I want a movie that gets people’s hearts racing. I want to scare them. Spawn, done right, is a creepy character. Instead of a superhero who just stands there. That’s why Batman was always the coolest of all the good guys. I never had one moment of affinity for [Superman]. He was a Boy Scout right from the moment he hit the ground. He was always polite and said the right thing. I never felt like he was in danger because he could spin planets on his finger. Batman is a guy who could die if you threw him out of a window. More than that, even though he had women throwing themselves at him and millions of dollars, all he wanted to do was to wait until 3 a.m. and the pitch of black and say, “time to put the costume on and scare the bad guys.” I relate way more to that guy. Spawn is Batman untethered, without the corporation behind it. Batman without limits, Batman who kills the Joker.
Spawn is a spectre, a sentinel, he’s that thing that nobody can get their hands on. As a kid growing up, the movies I was enamored with were the creepy movies where there’s only one creepy thing. Going back to the black-and-white films, way back, “Dracula” and “Frankenstein,” there was only one fantastical element. The title character. Dr. Frankenstein and Igor were just a madman and simpleton. They were still humans. When you start adding others to it, it loses me. The son of the Wolf Man or the bride of Frankenstein, even, it loses it. I like The Exorcist. I like Rosemary’s Baby. A little bit of the fantastic and then everything else was real. You went for the ride and felt like, “If there was a ghost in the house, this is what it would be like.”