“We Just Can’t Do Marvel Lite”


  • Todd McFarlane wants to approach the Spawn movie differently than other superhero films, aiming to make it stand out from the usual formula.
  • The movie could have a unique and surprising arc by telling Spawn’s origin story through flashbacks instead of following the typical formula of meeting him before he gains his powers.
  • McFarlane is excited to bring something new to the genre and create a story that is “dangerous” in the sense that it takes a risk and doesn’t fall into an easy formula.

Todd McFarlane explains how he wants to approach Spawn differently than any other superhero movie, hopefully making it stand out from the usual formula. Many fans have criticized the formulaic approach that superhero movies have fallen into as they have taken over the box office. With Spawn being a unique character, he falls more into the anti-hero classification, which opens the door to a very different story than the one fans have grown used to with superheroes.

In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, McFarlane explained what he is excited to do with the Spawn movie. He revealed that they are looking to do something bold and different from what the superhero genre has explored thus far. McFarlane shared how Silver has gotten him excited because of his understanding that Spawn can’t be “Marvel lite,” and needs to buck the usual formula. Check out McFarlane’s full quote below:

Todd McFarlane: Interesting question because arguably, our answer and a studio answer might be two different things. The one thing that I’m excited about in my conversations, and mostly with Scott Silver, is that he is just hell-bent – and don’t say that as a pun, literally – of wanting to do something different. Every conversation, he just is like, “We just can’t do Marvel lite.” He doesn’t want to do horror because that is its own thing. He’s just fighting to try and see if we can do something slightly different. We’ll let the audience. I’ve always said when you try to do something different, you let the audience decide whether that’s better or worse, right? They’re the paying customer.

But he said something to me the other day that I thought was almost perfect. He said, “I want to do a story that’s dangerous.” And he didn’t mean it in that there’s danger in the story, per se. He meant that it would be a little bit of a risk to do this movie because it’s not going to fall into an easy formula, and I’m all for that. I’m all for trying something different – in his word, dangerous. That’s music to my ears.

How Spawn’s “Dangerous” Approach Could Bring Something New To The Superhero Genre

While Spawn’s origins will undoubtedly be explored, the hero is uniquely set up to have a different introduction than what fans are used to seeing. Instead of tracking his origin story in the usual formula, meeting him before he gains his powers, and following him as he learns how to use them, the movie could have a surprising arc. The movie could instead tell this story through flashbacks.


The Spawn Reboot: Confirmation, Story & Everything We Know

A Spawn reboot movie is coming from Todd McFarlane and Blumhouse with Jamie Foxx playing the titular hellish antihero – here’s everything we know.

In the Spawn comics, Al Simmons, aka Spawn, makes a deal with the devil, Malebolgia, after being betrayed by his friend and country. He agrees to become a Hellspawn and returns to the land of the living without his memories of his former life. If they want a new approach to the superhero movie, it can drop audiences straight into the action and Simmons’ life as Spawn, only dropping tidbits about his past as he suffers debilitating flashbacks.

This would allow them to tell a different kind of origin story. It could also set up a superhero movie that leans into the horror genre more than any others have before, which is likely why Blumhouse is so interested in making its mark in the genre with this character. McFarlane is unquestioningly passionate about Spawn, and his desire to bring something different to the genre may be exactly what is needed after the lackluster superhero box office in 2023.

Todd McFarlane, Jason Blum
Production Company
McFarlane Films, Blumhouse Productions


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