Veteran comic book creator Todd McFarlane told ComicBook.com during a recent interview that as he begins production on his Jamie Foxx-starring Spawn feature film, he has been holding back a lot of information from fans -- not only to maintain a sense of mystery around the production but also so that he can minimize some of the potentially negative chatter that has hurt some recent releases.
McFarlane says that while the film has a production schedule in place, nothing is set in stone and he does not want to be too transparent with an audience that might assume changes mean the movie is in trouble.
"If because of an actor's schedule, we got to move [the release date] or if for whatever reason, the shot takes a little longer, we got to move it. Then if you say too specifically what the day you give them, be a week or two weeks, then all of a sudden you'll read an article somewhere, and people say, 'It's a troubled production! Troubled, troubled production!'"
The film will be done on a smaller budget, and so expectations are not going to be as high as they ordinarily would be for a superhero/comic book adaptation. The film seems positioned to be more in line with smaller-scale horror hits like Hereditary or Get Out, or something like Blumhouse Tilt's Upgrade.
It will also represent McFarlane's directorial debut, although having an experienced and award-winning actor like Foxx in the lead role is likely something of a safety net in that respect. Still, he says, when he is quiet, it does not mean he is not working on it.
"It's coming," McFarlane promised. "We've been doing protocol pre-production stuff already. It's not sexy stuff. They're will be more of a posting on my social media. It's sort of the tedious parts stuff, putting together something that is going to take so many people. Every day, it's another step forward in getting to actual cameras rolling."
He seemed to suggest that he would be likely to hold off on announcing an official release date until the first trailer dropped, saying that he believes that a lot of fans will make their mind up based on that first look, so it should include the cast and release date -- the two most important pieces of information a prospective audience member needs to keep in mind.
"I'll be sharing some of the information, especially while I'm filming," McFarlane said. "I'm going to be there on the set with people....I'm going to share some of the fun of making a movie. So, yeah, we're scheduled. So, it's coming. You know, I don't have a date, but it's coming. We'll be open."
McFarlane's Spawn movie does not yet have a release date. The film is expected to go into production by the end of the year.