Spawn is a franchise that has a lot of promise, but had the misfortune of having a movie adaptation too early. It basically killed a franchise that is beloved by many. The character’s creator Todd McFarlane has desperately tried to convince Hollywood to give the anti-hero another chance. He recently completed a new script for a possible reboot of the franchise that sees the Hellspawn take a mythical back seat to the film’s real star, Twitch. In McFarlane’s script Spawn is the Boogeyman, acting in the shadows and in the dark background.
In a recent interview with Comic Book, McFarlane talks about how Spawn is basically the shark in Jaws, with Twitch being Sheriff Brody:
There’s two big roles in the script. There’s obviously sort of Spawn himself, although in a weird way it’s not the biggest role, and then there’s the cop. The cop is this character Twitch who’s been there since issue #1. Twitch is the role in this one, and I sort of refer to him as my sheriff Brody, who is the sheriff in the Jaws movie. Although it was called Jaws, Jaws didn’t really talk a lot in his movie, right? He just kind of showed up at the opportune time to make the movie worthwhile.
It was sheriff Brody, the humans talking, chasing the fantastical thing that sort of made the movie, and to me, there’s that element. Everything else is normal in this story other than the shadow moves, and at times even when it moves, the cop just sort of thinks he’s losing his mind so he doesn’t even trust that the shadow’s moving. If you’re a bad guy, then this thing is going to come and it’s going to get you.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the anti-hero is taking a backseat, rather he will be a myth. With the success of R-Rated superhero films like Deadpool, now is the time for Spawn to return. The R-Rated HBO animated series in the late 1990s was a hit with audiences, but the movie that hit soon after was a big-budget bust. It was a film that happened way before it was ready. The plot was weak, the CGI was bad, and the script wasn’t much better.
McFarlane’s new script shows promise, but are cop dramas a thing of the past?