If that past few years have shown us anything about comic book movies, it's that if done right — rated-R superhero flicks can certainly be successful, both critically and commercially.
Take Deadpool as an example. After a disastrous result from putting Wade Wilson in the widely-panned X-Men Origins: Wolverine, director Tim Miller and superstar Ryan Reynolds teamed up to bring a comic-accurate version of the mutant to the silver screen. $783.1 million later, a sequel is on its way later this year which is sure to keep the R-rate momentum moving forward.
Speaking about the project at ACE Comic Con this weekend, McFarlane reassured fans that while Deadpool and Logan both found success as movies rated R, Spawn will still manage to be different.
"It's funny in Hollywood, if you say you want to do an R-rated movie, they go like 'Oh like Deadpool or Logan?' For me, no," reflected McFarlane. "To me, Deadpool was the PG-13 action movie, it just had some naked butts and a couple of f-bombs. Other than that, I thought it was the same PG-13 formula."
He went on the explain that Spawn is going to remain comic-accurate in the sense that fans should be afraid of the character throughout the movie.
"When I'm talking R, I'm talking that there wouldn't be a lot of fun, there won't be any stupid lines in it. I never like my hero to make a joke right when the jeopardy was at its highest," McFarlane told fans. "If I felt that my hero wasn't afraid right now, why should I be? I want my heroes to go 'S**t, where do I go now?'"
McFarlane continued to remind fans that they shouldn't expect to see a superhero movie when they go see the new Spawn flick when it's released sometime in 2019.
"Here's what I do know. It should be impossible for anybody to go to the movie and say 'I'm disappointed, I thought it was a superhero movie,'" said McFarlane. "Because there's this thing called the internet and TV and you'll see the trailer and there will be nothing in the trailer that will say that this is a superhero movie."'
Before moving on the another question, McFarlane gave fans an insight into how his reboot is going to feel.
"It's just going to be a dark, nasty R-rated, scary, creepy, messed up movie. Now why?" McFarlane said. "If you were a ten-year-old and you bought Spawn #1, it's 25 years later and you're 35. You're an adult and I just think my audience has grown up with me."
Blumhouse, the production studio behind low-budget but big box office earners Paranormal Activity, The Visit and Get Out, produces. McFarlane writes and directs for a planned 2019 release.