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Back in 1997, covert government assassin Al Simmons was introduced to the moviegoing masses as Spawn, a vengeful, supernatural hero hell-bent on bringing his former employer, Jason Wynn (Martin Sheen), down to size.

Helmed by Mark Dippe, the cult actioner proved to be a decidedly different spin on the superhero format, even if it failed to resonate with viewers. But Todd McFarlane’s long-gestating reboot offers Al Simmons another shot at the big time, and it seems the writer, director and all-around comic book veteran has been meeting with potential cast members for Blumhouse’s Spawn movie.

Via Instagram, McFarlane, who is the brains behind Al Simmons and his hellish alter-ego, reaffirmed that casting is well underway. And he even bumped into Mark Dippe this past weekend, too. Taking to the social media platform, he shared the following update:

WHAT..!? I was in Hollywood all day Friday talking casting roles to various actors about different character roles for the #Spawn movie. SOOO…of course when I am on my plane going back home the person who gets on last and sits next to me (literally) is the guy who directed the first Spawn movie (Mark Dippe)!?!? Had not seen him in years. Weird.


Tethered to an R rating, there’s a tremendous amount of buzz surrounding the project, as it’s seemingly a “dark” and “nasty” rendition of the titular hellspawn. It’ll also take a leaf out of Jaws‘ book in the sense that Spawn will be used sparingly. Because if New Line’s It reboot proved anything, it’s that a movie monster tends to lose its shock value the longer it spends on screen.

And though McFarlane has been quoted as saying that Spawn won’t speak a single word in the film, turns out he’ll still have a means of communicating:

So, there’s a nuance here right? So Spawn, the being of Spawn, the sentinel being of Spawn doesn’t speak, but I’ve created another way to be able to give him a voice. But what won’t happen is that you won’t see Spawn in his big costume and cape go ‘hello everybody. I’m here to save the day’. None of that. But the presence of Spawn will have an outlet to get across his voice in a manner that will be fairly obvious to people who follow the Spawn comic book over the years.

Spawn is yet to settle on an official release date, though if Todd McFarlane has his way, it’ll slot into one of two launch windows: early 2019, and therefore just prior to Hollywood’s blockbuster season, or Halloween of 2019.

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Entertainment, Movie News, spawn

Those expecting the Spawn film to be similar to other R-rated comic book movies like Deadpool and Logan are going to be in for a surprise. The sense of the reboot’s darker tone is something that many fans will have picked up on, whether it’s through the fact that Blumhouse is producing the film or that Spawn is going to have a “nasty” R-rating. All in all, it looks likely that Spawn is going to offer up something very different.

However, comparisons between Spawn and its R-rated peers that have already seen release have persisted. With Deadpool in particular, fans were treated to a movie about an anti-hero that has done some terrible things, and the film itself eschewed traditional comic movie norms in favor of sticking to a character that many suspected would never receive a faithful adaptation.

Related: 15 Things You Never Knew About Spawn

However, Todd McFarlane wants to put those comparisons to bed once and for all. Speaking at ACE Comic Con this weekend, McFarlane discussed the Spawn reboot at length, and explained that his movie is going to be nothing like Deadpool or Logan. In particular, McFarlane wanted to point out that Spawn was going to break from the standard comic book movie tropes, stating “to me, Deadpool was the PG-13 action movie, it just had some naked butts and a couple of f-bombs. Other than that, I thought it was the same PG-13 formula.

Spawn Todd McFarlane Says R Rated Spawn Wont Be Anything Like Deadpool or Logan

Instead, McFarlane has suggested that Spawn‘s R-rating will come from a very different place. “When I’m talking R, I’m talking that there wouldn’t be a lot of fun, there won’t be any stupid lines in it,” McFarlane explained. Spawn will instead focus on making a connection with early fans of the comic in particular, with its creator stating “if you were a ten-year-old and you bought Spawn #1, it’s 25 years later and you’re 35. You’re an adult and I just think my audience has grown up with me.

Suggesting that Deadpool stuck too closely to a PG-13 formula may be a little unfair on the film. After all, Deadpool‘s adaptation deliberately subverted superhero movie expectations, and building the movie within that traditional framework is part of the reason why the film was able to deliver such biting blows against the genre. Nonetheless, it’s clear that Spawn is trying to forge its own path, with McFarlane making it clear that Spawn will not be a superhero movie in the slightest.

It’s easy to see why, and an emphasis on the violence and horror of Spawn as a character is clearly going to be at the forefront. Spawn will not speak in the movie reboot, while those expecting an origin story will be left in the dark about how the character came to be. Hopefully, these bold steps will lead to an excellent final film – after all, being a box office and critical success is no doubt a comparison to Deadpool and Logan that McFarlane won’t mind in the slightest.

More: 15 Superpowers You Didn’t Know Spawn Had


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