Todd McFarlane is in the process of bringing his creation, Spawn, back to the big screen. Spawn is known as a dark and gritty superhero. The first Spawn movie, released in 1997, received an R-rating in its original cut before being edited to meet PG-13 standards. This time around, McFarlane is making the case for Spawn to lean into an R rating and he thinks the success of R-Rated films like Venom and Joker will help make his case. “It's interesting because Hollywood people sometimes say, ‘No, it doesn't matter who you're talking about. This doesn't matter. This doesn't matter.’ Of course it matters, right?” McFarlane tells ComicBook.com at New York Comic Con. “Because you've seen it dozens of times, ‘movie A’ with ‘topic A’ does great. There's a mad rush to replicate it. ‘TV show A’ with ‘topic A’ is successful, there's a mad rush for everybody to replicate. So what I'm hoping for is that last year was the release of Venom, and so that adds a little bit of a checkmark next to the resume because I go, ‘Hey, the guy who co-created Venom is also got this character called Spawn.’
“I'm hoping Joker opens up big and right now it's tracking. So I hope it does, and then what it will prove is that you can do R-rated movies,” he continues. “And, again, there've been R-rated superhero movies with Logan and Deadpool, but I'm talking in which the content is serious, right? That somebody took it and had this serious tale. And if that works, then they're going to do their checkbox and they're going to go, ‘Hey, you know what we need more of? What just worked? Oh yeah, R-rated, check. Comic book material, check and dark, check.’ And that's Spawn check, check, check. So I've been trying to say this to them. I think this type of material will work, but they just need sometimes the proof in the pudding to go, ‘Oh! That's what you've been telling us. You're saying the audience can get a wider diet than just PG 13. Yes, yes. On a serious level, on a serious level, not Deadpool level.’
“So if it works, I'm hoping that I can be the next guy in the door going, ‘Hey, you don't have to call through your, unless you're Warner Brothers and Disney, you don't have to start calling through who can I go get that's R-rated. Here's a book and a title that has sold more comic books in a single issue than any other book in American independent comic books. It's the longest-running book in the history of mankind for a creator-owned book.”
Do you hope to see an R-rated Spawn movie? Do you think Joker will help make that happen? Let us know what you think in the comments.
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