NYCC: Spawn creator Todd McFarlane lays out plan for a different kind of superhero trilogy

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Feb 13, 2019, 5:00 PM EST (Updated)

This afternoon at NYCCSpawn creator Todd McFarlane was on hand at SYFY WIRE’s Live Stage to talk about what's in store for his flagship character's big-screen adventures. While Jamie Foxx has been cast as Al Simmons and The Avengers' Jeremy Renner as Twitch in the Blumhouse produced movie, McFarlane is still working on completely selling the idea. 

"Here's what's next: getting Hollywood to get this," McFarlane told the crowd. "They're still a little timid of doing a [truly] dark, nasty, r-rated superhero. As soon as you say 'superhero,' they go into a little bit of a default. So we're still trying to get them across the finish line, [to] stop thinking of this as a traditional superhero movie."

While more R-rated superhero films, like the Deadpool series and the X-Men one-off Logan, have proven there's an audience out there for that, McFarlane explained that he needed to keep nudging the studio to agree to his vision, which he's selling as a trilogy — something that was first revealed earlier this year.

"Each movie will look different from the last one," McFarlane said. "Here's the thing: A lot of trilogies go back and repeat the last thing. I want each movie to be visually different. If I had to give a title to the first movie, it would be Spawn... Do You Believe?" 

He explained that his working title is a reflection of how Spawn is perceived by the other characters in the film, which veers far away from the traditional superhero origin stories, which he wanted to avoid

"Everybody in this movie is gonna to be going 'I don't even know if this exists, or if it's just in my head.' Once you get past that, probably at the halfway point in the [first] movie, the second movie becomes completely different," said McFarlane. "The first movie is 'I'm crazy, I don't even know if you exist.' The second movie is 'I know you exist, so I can have a different conversation.'"

In addition to his ambitious plan, McFarlane explained that he wanted to revisit making a Spawn movie to acknowledge that much of his fanbase has grown up with this character. "I have to acknowledge that I'm getting older, which is why my direction in the movie is my acknowledgment that the fanbase is getting older. It may be a miserable failure, but I have to get it out of my system."

Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of NYCC 2018, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.

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