McFarlane caught up with ComicBook.com for an extended exclusive interview about the upcoming Spawn movie, which he promises will earn its R-rating, where the director revealed just how "bad-ass" his character will be in this live-action edition.
Here's the thing that I don't think people quite understand," McFarlane started. "People ask me from time to time, and they are going to continue to ask me, they even ask me on this point, 'Why do you got to change Spawn? Why do you got to do this and do that?' Whatever else. And the answer, I think, is somewhat unique in that because the guy is doing that (which is me) is the same guy who created the character and is the same guy who has been guiding the entrance to Issue 1, which was 27 years ago."
McFarlane correlates his character changing to Marvel heroes which would have also changed if their creators were still working on their stories.
"I believe that if Stan Lee was still writing Spider-Man, he wouldn't be the same character," McFarlane said. "Because I don't think there's any creative person that can just regurgitate the same 10 issues over and over and over without eventually going insane. So, the reason that I've had to change and modify Spawn and done all these things is because a) I'm getting older; b) I'm acknowledging that they've been 27 years. And in those 27 years, I've been along for the ride the whole time. And I can't fathom that the audience has been along with me and myself going ... What I need to do after 27 years is to go all the way back to the beginning and do those same issues that everybody else would do if I gave it to anybody else.
The reason superhero comic books look like they do is because Stan Lee did 40 issues. And, then, Roy Thomas does 40 issues. It's just a triptych to Stan. And, then, when Ween comes in and does his tribute of 40 issues to Roy, and then Marv Wolfman comes, and next thing you know you're up to 160, 200 issues where everybody's just doing a tip of the hat to the previous person who is always doing a tip of the hat to their previous person, and then you get into this replication that starts to go over and over. So that, then, can't really alter Batman, Superman, Spider-Man too much."
McFarlane, however, has more freedom to do what he wants with the character. "I don't have those limitations," McFarlane said. "I don't have any good corporate sitter watching me. The reason that I'm doing and altering it is because... Somewhere along the line, I have to keep my own personal sanity. The only way I can do that is to keep evolving this character. Good or bad. I'm not saying my choice is right or bad. It may be completely wrong for what I'm about to do in the movie. But I'm saying I have to conserve 26 years. And if it's that same creative batch, then that's the mark that people are missing."
At this point, McFarlane is most interested in the version of Spawn which might just enstill terror into audiences. "In my definition, what is Spawn? Spawn is a bad-ass," McFarlane said. "If you want to get right down to it, Spawn is a badass. What am I hoping to deliver on screen? That Spawn is a bad-ass. What he digitally looks like while he's doing that, to me, should be almost secondary. At the end of the day, when you walk out of the movie, that's all I'm going to ask."
That's how McFarlane's Spawn will stand apart from today's crowded comic book movie genre.1comments
"The difference in my movie will be simply this: that Superman, Batman and Spider-Man, they have their own way of dealing with things," McFarlane said. "You know, they beat them up, they put them in handcuffs, they take them away, whatever they do. Spawn didn't like that. If you're bad, he will bite you. And when he bites, he bites hard. Very, very hard. He doesn't care that it hurts. He's not concerned about that part. Those other guys are all concerned about that part. Nevermind that."
McFarlane's Spawn movie does not yet have a release date.