Michael Jai White discusses the Spawn remake, that’s been stuck in development hell

Spawn (1997)
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The star of 1997’s Spawn – Michael Jai White – chats about what went wrong with the first attempt at bringing the dark comic book character into the world of film. 

News emerged a couple of months ago that the planned adaptation of Spawn may finally be dragging itself out of development hell. This came after a long period where the character’s creator – Todd McFarlane – was insistent that he wanted a sizeable degree of creative control over the direction of the project. That reportedly extended as far as writing, perhaps even directing the new movie, but this proved to be one of several stumbling blocks that was preventing the project from becoming a reality.

Ultimately, McFarlane would cede control of the writing element when no less than three writers that he was happy to collaborate with would board the project.

Scott Silver, the writer behind Joker, Malcolm Spellman, the creator of The Falcon And The Winter Soldier and emerging writer Matt Mixon all joined the Spawn project to create a fresh script which is currently situated at Blumhouse. That’s all we know of right now, apart from that we expect this movie to get a theatrical release. It’s still clearly a few years away from happening though.

Of course, Spawn has made it to the screen before, all the way back in 1997 although that version (which starred Michael Jai White) was not well received. Still, the actor still remembers parts of the project fondly and has been chatting about how a remake could work. “If it were done like the comic book, I think would be amazing”, he told Movieweb.

“I’ve heard Todd McFarlane is supposed to direct it, but I’ve heard this for years. It would be very interesting, because it would have to be a pretty big financial investment, and I don’t know Todd to be a director”, he added.

The 1997 version abandoned much of the character’s pathos and used some pretty bad mid-90s CGI, which even at the time looked questionable. For White, these were the two areas that really let the movie down. In the aforementioned interview, he admits that “I find a fault with the storytelling, and I felt that there was a little bit too much special effects”.

Hopefully, the newer version of Spawn will focus more on that latter aspect as it’s a crucial element to the character’s tragic core. Whatever happens, we’ll be waiting for some time but with some excellent writers on board, we’re really hopeful that a great script could give the project the momentum to get in front of cameras at some point next year.


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