Spawn, the supernatural superhero movie we recently called one of our favorite guilty pleasure films, is coming to Netflix in July 2017.
The first Image Comics property to come to live action, 1997's Spawn was also one of the earlier attempts to do a "mature" comic book movie (the director's cut, a big hit on VHS, was rated R), and to do a superhero movie that reached outside of the safe confines of what people understood them to be after the commercial successes of Superman and Batman.
While the visual effects are inredibly dodgy, that's in part because they were doing something new and cool, and being on the front lines of movie technology generally guarantees that it won't age well.
The biggest weakness for this film is that it's thin on plot and relies heavily on those cutting-edge visual effects...but if you like the world Todd McFarlane has created in Spawn, it's a really enjoyable film.
Right now, McFarlane is shopping around a screenplay for a new, R-rated Spawn movie that would leave the superhero stuff almost completely behind in favor of a darker, horror movie aesthetic. Kevin Smith, meanwhile, is developing a TV series based on Sam and Twitch, a duo of Spawn supporting characters who at ont point had their own comic.
Michael Jai White stars as Al Simmons, a corrupt assassin betrayed and murdered by his evil government supervisor Jason Wynn (Martin Sheen). Sent to Hell, Simmons is offered a chance to return to earth if he will become a “Hellspawn,” one of many super-powered creatures assigned to encourage living souls along the path to damnation.
Simmons hastily agrees to this deal and becomes a twisted, scarred version of his former self, living in a dingy alleyway, with no hope of regaining his life. Despite the best efforts of his mentor, a demonic clown (John Leguizamo), Spawn performs mostly heroic acts, though he is not above seeking revenge on Wynn.