NYCC: Todd McFarlane's "dark" R-rated Spawn movie starts shooting in February

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Mar 26, 2021, 3:00 AM EDT (Updated)

Todd McFarlane has some good news about his long-awaited new Spawn movie.

At his panel Thursday at New York Comic Con, the famed comic book artist announced the big screen reboot that he's writing and directing will go into production sometime in February.

And unlike the PG-13-rated 1997 film based on the character, this Spawn is going to be more hardcore, and aimed directly at McFarlane's fanbase -- which he says is mostly grown up now.

"It is going to be dark and it is going to be R," revealed McFarlane, adding that his film will travel in real-life conflict, as compared to, say, the R-rated Deadpool movie, which he called "a superhero action movie with a couple of F-bombs and a couple of asses."

"I'm talking about drama," he added. "Drama movies. I was always enamored by drama as a kid. Hey, when I was young, Star Wars or Gorky Park. I went to Gorky Park."

The Image Comics mastermind is making his feature directing debut on the project, which is being produced by horror master Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Studios. They're aiming to start pre-production just after Christmas.

And reflecting the independent streak he's demonstrated since founding Image way back in 1991, McFarlane added that he and Blumhouse are plotting to retain ownership by putting the financing of the film together themselves, while soliciting Hollywood studios only for distribution and marketing.

He also promised fans one Facebook Live video a day from the Spawn set, in order to let them in on the more silly stuff they'll be dealing with during shooting.

Lastly on the toy front, MacFarlane announced a deal for a Stranger Things line of action figures, as well as additions to his Five Nights at Freddy's brand, which he said is "the single biggest toy thing I've done in 25 years bar none."

What do you think of a new, darker Spawn movie? Are you all in?