EXCLUSIVE: Todd McFarlane Says New ‘Spawn’ Movie Would Be ‘Completely R-Rated’

Much has been made of Todd McFarlane’s plans for a new, live-action “Spawn” movie based on the character he created in the early 1990s. Back in May, we brought you the first word on how he plans to bring the character back to the big screen in a much darker, grittier film that puts less emphasis on the supernatural side of Spawn, with McFarlane name-checking Leo DiCaprio (“The Departed”) as an actor well-suited to play one of the detectives playing a lead role in the film.

During a recent chat with the ever-busy creator, McFarlane shared a bit more insight into his plans for rebooting “Spawn” in Hollywood, and why we could be looking at a very different Hellspawn if/when the character returns to the big screen.

“The reason I want to go small with it is that it’s a completely R-rated movie,” said McFarlane. “If I sell it up big, studios want that PG-13.”

“They’re a little bit gun-shy with ’Watchmen’ not doing the numbers they’d like,” he explained. “But I’ve met people who make $5 million dollar movies for a living, and they walk around with the biggest grins on their faces.”

Comparing his production vision to that of the “Saw” films, McFarlane said he’d like to keep the budget small so that “doesn’t have anybody’s neck stuck out too far.” With a smaller budget, it doesn’t take as much for the film to be deemed a success—and for future installments to get the green light.

“If i take the offer of the big studios with the big budgets and big production values, that’s all nice and you have a better chance of getting a big star, and it works for them commercially, but as I get older, it’s sort of less interesting to me,” he said.

While McFarlane said he’s been approached by a variety of studios interested in the film, he said he’s still working on a screenplay—a process he hasn’t shied away from mentioning on Twitter.

“I have a hundred pages of notes, and what I’ve done is catalog all the notes, put them in order and now begin putting a little bit of dialog to them,” said McFarlane. “The main concern right now is getting the scenes and the beats down. Once you get that, then putting words in their mouths is pretty easy.”

Keep it locked to Splash Page for more from Todd McFarlane on the live-action “Spawn” reboot and other projects. Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!