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Is This The Time To Reboot Spawn?

Written by Steven Demaine

We’ve seen Jamie Foxx in one superhero movie, but might we soon see him in another? He’s expressed interest in the new Spawn reboot being mooted by Todd McFarlane.  Here’s our
take on whether or not that reboot’s a good idea.

Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, once heralded as ‘America’s No.1 Selling Comic’ rose from
nothing and gave its creator an empire many could only dream of. At its height, Spawn just
oozed success and with every successful property, Hollywood soon came a knocking. In 1997,
New Line Cinema gave birth to the first and sadly the only live adaptation of Spawn to date as
soon after; following decent-but-unremarkable box office receipts and some less-than-kindly reviews, Spawn fell into obscurity.

Now fast forward to the 21st century, straight into the heart of the superhero boom! With
movies like Avengers Assemble and Batman taking in billions, and talk of universes and characters appearing on-screen that fans once only dreamed of (here’s looking at you,
Falcon!), is this the time, to reboot Spawn?

In this writer’s opinion – no; because, unlike The Super Friends or The Dark Knight,
Spawn is clearly, and has always been, a very dark, adult-themed character. Even in this age
of cinematic wonders, the only way Spawn would most likely ever make another appearance
on the silver screen would be him accompanied with a giant 12 rating – and the universe
would fill with the screams of Spawn fans everywhere.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not fully complaining at the idea of a 12-rated Spawn. We had
one in ‘97, and his origin story works just fine within the teen-friendly realm in my opinion;
but Todd McFarlane himself has been trying to get the old Hell-spawn back on our screens
for over ten years now, and it seems to be with a darker tone in mind.

Ideas have been thrown around of an R- rated scary crime caper, following the detectives,
Sam and Twitch – at one point Spawn didn’t even have a speaking part! And now it seems Mr. McFarlane is using his motto of “When others zig, you zag” to update Spawn in to more of a supernatural thriller, completely stripping him of his more superhero traits in order to try
and bring something new to the table.

Which means, if he was to return, it wouldn’t be the Spawn you know and love, and I can’t see
any right minded studio-exec agreeing to finance an R-rated, not a superhero movie,
superhero movie, which kids couldn’t go and see or buy the toys – not quite Star Wars-level material, but I’m sure Todd’s own toy company, McFarlane Toys, would give it a shot!

For the benefit of modern audiences, scratching their heads and asking “When will Spawn
join the Avengers?” and the peace of mind for the core fan-base, I believe Spawn, for now,
should stay firmly away from the cinema and return to his HBO roots.

The only time Spawn has been well-received by the fans and critics alike was the HBO
animated series from 1997–1999, showing Spawn in his full, dark glory and pulling no
punches, from angels to paedophiles. A live action rendition of this is where I believe his
future should be.

Leave the big screen for Marvel and DC’s heroic tales and let Spawn rule the TV, with a
darker twist.

But what do you guys think? Do you want to see a reboot of old Spawn anytime soon? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

About the author

Steven Demaine

A gentleman connoisseur of all the things pop-culture has to offer, with a heated passion (and an empty wallet) for all things toys! Especially, for giant transforming robots and sewer dwelling mutant ninja turtles, with a little He-Man for good measure.