R rated films are now all the rage and Todd McFarlane wants his version of Spawn to outdo the lot of them. The original 1997 installment was adapted from the Image Comics series, which so happened to be written by McFarlane and has remained a passion project of his for over a decade.
The New Line Cinema feature 20 years previous was considered a major flop on most counts. Even though the studio recouped their investment and then some to make $87.8m from their $40m outlay. But with a desire from moviegoers to see superhero movies that are a little left of center and outside usual convention, Spawn hits that mark with precision.
Nasty and Beyond Deadpool-Logan Levels: TM
Speaking at Emerald City Comic-Con through Twitter video, McFarlane wanted to amp up the levels of excitement for the reboot. And how did he do that? By promoting how it will surpass the violence showcased on two Marvel smash hits.
"Listen, I'm going to paint it for you," he remarked. "The movie is going to be a dark R... If here's PG-13 and here's Deadpool and here's Logan, we're going to be here. It's going to be dark. It's going to be nasty."
Dark doesn't necessarily equate to quality though. Especially with the original film not lacking in this department. There was plenty to get frightened about, but the screenplay and special effects left something to be desired.
Todd's Little Indy Horror Movie
Clearly the writer has practiced this back and forth with studio executives in his head a lot before. All as he went into detail about how he would negotiate a potential $100m blockbuster down to a $10m indie horror movie that carried less risk.
"I've been living with the idea for so long that I wanted to direct it, but I knew that if I gave it to Hollywood and they spent a lot of money on it then just from a practical point of view, it wouldn't be fair for me to then say 'I want to direct.' It's not good business to spend $80m on movie and then give it to somebody who's not known for directing movies - but if you can make a movie for $10m, they'll get a lot of less experienced directors to do those movies. So I knew I needed to keep the story and the budget both tight so that when I go to Hollywood and I say 'I have to direct it, that's not even a negotiation, so if you can't accept that, then the conversation is over quickly,' then once they understand the scope and size and budget of it, they're like 'Oh, okay. It's not like Todd's coming in here asking for $100m and then saying let me direct my first movie. He's saying 'Give me $10m to make a little horror movie and let's see if we can scare some people. We've done that tons of times.'"