Exclusive: Jason Blum Talks Todd McFarlane Directing Spawn
After years of anticipation, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane announced at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con that his entertainment division (McFarlane Entertainment) is partnering with Jason Blum and Blumhouse Productions (Get Out, Split, The Purge) to make a feature film of the Image Comics character. Now ComingSoon.net has spoken exclusively to producer Jason Blum about the prospect of McFarlane directing Spawn and how they plan to accomplish bringing the character back to the big screen.
ComingSoon.net: If you look at Todd McFarlane’s career, him becoming a movie director almost seems inevitable. He’s obviously worked in film and TV and music videos before, but how do you think he’s going to adapt his singular style to movies?
Jason Blum: I think he’s gonna do a great job. Being a director encompasses a lot of different skills, but one of the most important skills is you have to be a great manager. You’re kind of a General of this army that you have to lead into battle every day, and he does that in his life every day running McFarlane Enterprises. So I think that translates to directing in a lot of ways. We’ve had a great back-and-forth around developing the script. I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t think he could do a great job, but we’ll see. I have a good feeling about it.
CS: He’s said he sees this more as a down and dirty horror movie than a superhero film. Obviously demonic beings and hell are a big part of Spawn’s mythology, but how do you guys plan to translate Todd’s very dynamic form of storytelling onto a lower-scale budget?
Blum: (laughs) That’s a good question. One of the things is we’re keeping the scope of the script relatively contained, so that’s the biggest way. I think the other way is he and I aren’t paying ourselves any money out of the budget nor will any of the actors, so that’s another way. We’re using our usual tricks!
McFarlane has written the first draft of the screenplay and is set to make his directorial debut in this dark exploration of one of comics’ most popular characters.
“We’ve gone from the theoretical to now we’re making movies,” McFarlane previously said. “Blumhouse. Spawn. Badass. R. Get ready for it, we’re going into production. No more talking, it’s time to do.”
McFarlane is known for reinventing the look of Spider-Man as well as co-creating the Venom character for Marvel Comics. First appearing in 1992’s Spawn #1, the character quickly became the symbol for 1990s comics dark and brutal antiheroes. His Hellspawn powers allow him to teleport, shape shift, and utilize a variety of weapons (notably chains) in combat.
Spawn previously made the leap to the big screen in 1997 with Michael Jai White in the title role and then on television as an HBO animated miniseries, titled Todd McFarlane’s Spawn.