Spawn (1997)

Spawn reboot is totally not an origin story, says Todd McFarlane

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Oct 16, 2020, 12:50 PM EDT (Updated)

With Blumhouse’s Spawn reboot lurking somewhere in the underworld, it is tempting to think that it could be tracing the origins of murdered Black Ops operative-turned-Hellspawn Al Simmons (Jamie Foxx). Creator Todd McFarlane just set that theory on fire.

“Nope. Nope. Nope. I’m not interested in the origin story,” the writer-director, who admitted he was “exhausted by those movies”, replied when the burning question was asked by “I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I’ve seen too many movies that spend way too much time for the setup.”

He used Wolverine as an example of how an origin story could send Spawn to hell. The mutant was a mystery as he slashed his way through years of Marvel comics and movies, which McFarlane believes only made him more awesome. Mysterious characters are surrounded by speculation (and inevitable fan fiction). Because everyone wants to know what their deal is, they become painfully cool.

“We didn't know who he was for a long, long time. And that's what made him cool,” McFarlane said. “And you can argue that it's like he became a little bit less cool…once you actually gave the origin away, right?”

Wolverine will always be the epitome of cool for legions of X-Men fans, but the man who spawned Spawn has a point. There is something about characters with shadowy pasts which makes them that much more intriguing.

McFarlane used recent horror smash A Quiet Place as another example, highlighting how it starts on day 89 of the apocalypse instead of the first moments of the catastrophe. The enigma just made it more thrilling, kind of like a roller coaster that starts out crawling along in the darkness until it plunges you downwards at breakneck speed.

“It didn’t go in any depth what happened in those first 88 days,” he observed. “I love it. So either you just go for the ride, or you don’t.”

As for what the film will be, McFarlane revealed that it is developing into a supernatural thriller merged with a superhero creep movie. He loves the creep movie concept of the camera following around humans under threat—think of that iconic water glass scene in Jurassic Park where you don’t see the T-Rex, but the sound of thudding footsteps tells you those teeth are dangerously close.

The release date for Spawn remains in the dark.