We had a chance to speak with Spawn creator Todd McFarlane about his work writing and directing the upcoming Spawn reboot movie. and during that interview we learned (among many other things) just what kind of runtime McFarlane and Blumhouse Pictures are aiming for.
When asked directly how long the new Spawn movie will be, McFarlane responded with the following:
"Technically, every story should have its own length; here's how it works in Hollywood, as you know. They look at it that a page is a minute, right? So if you give them a 120-page script, they go 'Okay, it's a two-hour movie,' and so historically Hollywood wants 120 pages. I know when I first finished [the script] it was 167, which is startling to some people, and then I whittled down to about 137, and then once I brought Jason Blum and Blumhouse on, we've been going back and forth working on it. And so the one that we're now calling the final draft is, I believe, 115 pages?"
That would put the Spawn reboot at just over an hour-and-a-half, which seems to be the sweet spot for comic book movies, these days. Of course, McFarlane was also quick to add that right now, things are still in the processing phase, which could have impact on the final length of the film:
"I think because I'm writing for myself, I'm writing a little bit of exposition so that you, or an actor, or a manager, can read it and understand it; but in my mind, that thing that took four sentences is going to happen in [snaps fingers] maybe two-and-a-half seconds? So I don't think it's going to be a full two hours - just a little bit short of that - but it won't be ninety minutes. It'll be longer than ninety minutes."
Again, most superhero/blockbuster movies of today have settled on the 100-110 minute mark as their optimum length, so it's not surprising that McFarlane and Blumhouse are considering that format for Spawn. What may be a little surprising is the fact that the film was originally pitched as a darker horror-style superhero film with an indie feel to it, which would make one think a shorter 80 - 90 minute runtime would be ideal. As always, however, there is a wide span between the plans for a movie, and the actual film we end up getting.
Spawn is currently casting its key character roles and gearing up for production. Check out ComicBook.com for more on our conversation about Spawn with McFarlane.