ComicBook.com confirmed today that The Walking Dead’s Greg Nicotero and his KNB EFX group will produce the visual effects for Todd McFarlane’s Spawn! The collaboration makes sense considering McFarland’s desire to lean heavily on practical effects, not to mention limited budget he has to work with.
“When I conceived of the story to start with, I never really thought of it as big special effects extravaganza because I knew we weren’t going to have the budget for it,“ McFarlane told the outlet. “So I knew I was going to rely heavily on practical makeup and costuming, and one of the places that kept popping up was my good pal Greg Nicotero on his KNB Group. And he’s obviously done a tremendous amount of work on dozens and dozens of movies. The sort of serendipitous part of it is that Greg was there at the beginning 20 years ago for the original Spawn movie.”
Nicotero added: “I’ve been friends with Todd since we did the original Spawn, and the guy’s just a genius. I love the way his mind works. He thinks very, very graphically. I know he really loves the idea of Spawn being dark, and I love the animated show. It’s just a really great opportunity for us to get a chance to collaborate again.”
McFarlane will write and direct the Spawn reboot, which he previously confirmed will be “dark and R-rated,” even going so far as to say that it would be a harder R than Deadpool. McFarlane also revealed that the budget for the film will be a meager $10-to-$12 million, an atypical budget for a superhero film (which range into the hundreds of millions at Warner Bros. and Marvel Studios) but par for the course for Blumhouse Productions (who specialize in lower-budget features anywhere from $100k to $10 million). With such a smaller scale film, the money for which McFarlane himself is at least partially putting up, allows the filmmaker to share more content with fans from the set, which he promises to do every day of production.
Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) will star in the film alongside the recently announced Jeremy Renner.
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. The character recently celebrated his 25th anniversary, and will hit over 300 issues sometime next year, taking the record from “Cerebus the Aardvark” of the longest running independent comic book ever published.