In the late '90s, HBO adapted Todd McFarlane's Spawn comics into an adult-oriented animated TV show with Keith David voicing the central character, Al Simmons. The series ran for three seasons between 1997 and 1999 and even nabbed an Emmy for Outstanding Animation Program. Now, it sounds like McFarlane wants to recapture some of that magic with two new animated Spawn projects aimed at two very different demographics.
"We’re talking right now. I just had a couple meetings this weekend about a couple different animation looks, both something that we can get kids in at a younger age and then get them into the sort of crack cocaine version of Spawn," the writer/artist reportedly said at Fan Expo Canada over the extended holiday weekend, according to ComicBook.com. "And then do the adult one. So we’re talking about that. I think both of those come after the movie."
Given the fact that the Spawn books are all very violent and very dark, it'll be interesting to see how the antihero is dialed way down for a younger audience. How do you make him age appropriate and still maintain his core principals as a rebellious agent of Hell?
While McFarlane is still locking down all the financial details of the movie (which will mark his directorial debut), he has Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) and Jeremy Renner (Avengers: Endgame) set to play Simmons/Spawn and Twitch Williams respectively. Blumhouse is on board as a producing partner, while Creepshow's Greg Nicotero and his company, KNB EFX Group, have been hired to handle the visual effects.
"I’m hoping it’ll be badass and cool," McFarlane told SYFY WIRE about the film reboot back in May. "It needs to be R-rated, I believe that to be true. And it needs to be R-rated not in a way that is Hellboy R-rated or Deadpool R-rated, but I’m talking R-rated because that’s just how scary movies are. It’s how true drama is; there’s a lot of drama in it. ... There’s a lot of real-life stuff in it, and to me, I just need to find the balancing act, so that people will understand who the character is."
Spawn recently broke a world record via its 301st issue by becoming the longest-running creator-owned comic book in history. McFarlane has been writing and/or drawing the series (released by Image Comics, which he co-founded) since it first debuted in the early 1990s.