Just in case there was any lingering doubt about Todd McFarlane going full-on horror with his upcoming Spawn movie from Blumhouse Productions, the comic creator turned director has brought on famed make up effects creator Greg Nicotero and his company KNB EFX. Nicotero is perhaps best known for his work on AMC’s The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, where he serves as executive producer, special make-up effects supervisor, and frequent director. In other words, expect Spawn, which is going for an R-rating, to bring plenty of gore, and perhaps a few expertly designed demons as well.
Trained by George A. Romero and Tom Savini, Nicotero has become a genre industry staple through his company KNB EFX. The artist and filmmaker first got his start with Romero’s Day of the Dead (1985), but his filmography includes recent credits for Predators (2010), Grindhouse (2007), The Hills Have Eyes (2006), and Sin City (2005), along with hundreds of others across his decades-spanning career.
Interestingly, the upcoming Spawn isn’t the first time McFarlane and Nicotero have worked together. The duo was previously involved in the 1997 Spawn film, and it’s safe to say the best thing about that movie was the make-up effects. In a statement released today, McFarlane said “I'm a long-time fan of Greg’s work and the projects his company, KNB has done throughout the years. Working with him once again, to re-invent the Spawn 'look' so it will match the supernatural theme in the movie, is going to be a fun process.” McFarlane also took to Instagram to share his enthusiasm over Nicotero joining the film's crew:
Earlier this year, Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx was cast as the titular comic book character who first debuted from Image comics in 1992. Foxx was later joined by Jeremy Renner, who will portray the comic’s mainstay Twitch. Spawn, a former CIA agent turned anti-hero from Hell, rose to prominence in the 90s, becoming one of comics most popular characters, and giving Marvel and DC serious competition — which ultimately leading the way for creator-owned comic books. Headlining an HBO animated series, and toy line, Spawn was indestructible until the poorly-received 1997 film put a dent in his reputation.
While it’s still unknown how much McFarlane’s film will take from his original comic book series, and the creators who followed his run, McFarlane and Blumhouse seem invested in resurrecting the character’s popularity for the 21st century and avoiding the narrative missteps of the previous film. If Nicotero’s hiring is an indication, the film is certainly on the right track.
Blumhouse has yet to announce a release date for Spawn.