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Todd McFarlane Says Spawn 'Won't Be A Superhero Movie'

Todd McFarlane is hyping up his upcoming Spawn movie, and from the sound of things, you ain't taking your kid to see this superhero adventure. Matter of fact, according to McFarlane, it's probably better not to think about it as a superhero movie at all.

Spawn, an auteur project of an adaptation that McFarlane is writing, producing, and directing for Blumhouse Productions, is the second attempt to bring the 90s Image Comics antihero to the screen, this time with the character's maker in full creative control.

McFarlane, an Arizona resident, laid out the broad details of the project in an interview with AZCentral, saying that the new movie will be so bleak and dark that it transcends the superhero genre.

"It will be dark and heavy, serious, R-rated," McFarlane said. "It won't be a superhero movie. I don't think most people would categorize it as that. It will be a supernatural thriller, like a lot of good creep movies. The only thing in the movie that's fantastic is Spawn, and anything else is otherwise normal." 

In interviews, McFarlane has been putting on a lot of emphasis on his new Spawn's inevitable R rating—and it's not going to be some weaksauce, technical, half-hearted R. From the sound of what McFarlane's saying, Spawn is going to be so R-rated that you'll probably need a doctor's permission to even view it.

"We don't want to muddy the waters. It's R-rated," McFarlane said. "Not like Deadpool, where there was just a couple F-bombs and a naked butt. Not like Logan either...We're talking trauma, true trauma, as serious as possible."

You heard him, folks—Logan, which featured more than one beloved character suffering horrifically in their final days before being brutally murdered with all of their goals unfulfilled, is going to look like Tiny Toons once Spawn comes around. Only then will you know what true suffering is.

McFarlane's comments track with the sort of thing he's been saying about the movie for months now, so he certainly deserves points for consistency. One of his favorite things to compare with the new Spawn is Steven Spielberg's Jaws, in that the title characters of both movies are not so much heroes as they are forces of nature that the human protagonists have to contend with.

"Spawn doesn't say a word the entire movie, and it's the same way with Jaws," McFarlane said. "It's about the sheriff and the people, chasing the ghost. That's it...The lead role isn't Spawn, the lead role is a cop, like Sheriff Brody from Jaws. I think we can hook a fairly significant actor that we want. Unlike a superhero movie, we wouldn't need an actor to put on prosthetic (makeup) or go to the gym. We just need him to act."

Spawn was previously adapted for film in 1997 by director Mark A.Z. Dippé, starring Michael Jai White in the title role. It was generally not received well, but it did receive a great review from critic Roger Ebert, who wrote that the movie was "best seen as an experimental art film."

Spawn is currently in development with an eye on release in early 2019. Check out the trailer for the original Spawn movie down below.