Earlier today, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane announced that he will be expanding the universe populated by the comic and its characters, launching a trio of new titles to open up his own interconnected superhero universe to compete with the ones published at DC and Marvel. Those characters and concepts, McFarlane told ComicBook, may well find their way into other-media adaptations he is planning including and beyond the planned Spawn movie that he hopes to direct in the near future. What plans, exactly, McFarlane has -- if any -- are not yet clear, but as Spawn enters its next phase, one thing is clear: he has a bigger picture in mind than just 2021's "Year of Spawn."
Of course, one must wonder how much that changes his plans for film and TV projects, which have reportedly included a Spawn movie, a Spawn cartoon, and a Sam & Twitch live-action TV show. Does that mean he's changing those plans already?
"It's a bit of a weird answer," McFarlane admitted. "It's yes and no. Here's where the no is: it doesn't change my plans if I just plan on going into Hollywood and selling them a Spawn movie. Done, in, out, done....The bigger conversation, the bigger 'what if,' is are we just talking about Spawn? There is a much bigger machine behind that character than you guys can imagine. And oh, by the way, I'm going to introduce people on a regular basis, monthly, to some of them. And within years, I'm hoping each one of those books multiplies into hundreds of new characters too. I'm not saying they're all going to be worthwhile. But why are we talking about one and done, and one and done, and one and done?"
It isn't just a question of giving him more to say to studios, but providing a broader base of appeal and more characters and concepts for producers, filmmakers and, yes, comic book readers to latch onto. McFarlane told us that he's hoping to make a mini-version of the kind of universes DC and Marvel rely on.
"You guys all sit there and look at Marvel and DC with envy," McFarlane said. "So is it possible to create a much smaller version of that? And who knows, 40 years on, where it goes, right? Do I just go out with a movie? Do I go out with something grander than that?"
Spawn's Universe #1 will launch the new comics status quo in June.