It's been a while since I caught up with Spawn creator Todd McFarlane to discuss his plans for a brand new animated series based on the popular antihero. With issue #200 of the "Spawn" comic book series on the way, the character has achieved a level of success shared by few properties hailing from the indie side of the comics world — and that's not even counting the live-action "Spawn" movie in 1997 and award-winning HBO animated series that ran from 1998-99.
Last time I spoke to McFarlane, he outlined his plans to bring Spawn back to the animated world this year, once several legal issues had settled out and allowed him to shop the project around Hollywood. When I snagged some time with the veteran creator during New York Comic Con, he offered a status update of sorts on Spawn's return to television.
"We've been in contact with different studios and now we're doing tests on various technology that will hopefully get me to where I want visually," said McFarlane. "Here's the balancing act on the animation: How do we make it as cool as heck, but still be able to do it in a financial manner that we can do it every half-hour weekly?"
"We can all think of these grand technologies that now exist that will get us there, but the problem is, we can't do that on a half-an-hour, episodic basis," he added.
With those concerns in mind, McFarlane explained how they're tackling a potential "Spawn" series in order to make it more appealing to networks.
"We're doing an experiment to [find out] if there's a hybrid that will be able to get it so when we walk in to pitch it, we can go, 'Here's what it's going to look like, and here's the budget that goes with it,'" he said. "And if you can beat them to the punch on those two things, it's easy for them to say yes."
"When you pitch ideas in Hollywood, you have to assume that 99% of the time they'll say no, so I've learned over time that there's three or four components that are sort of the big moments, and if you can address those up front, then you get their interest a little more," he explained. "It doesn't mean they're going to buy it and make it, but it means they'll listen to the conversation, because you've thought out their business plan."
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