At New York Comic Con, McFarlane sat down with ComicBook.com to talk about his upcoming project, which he expects will go into production by February 2018. It all is part of a partnership with Jason Blum and Blumhouse, who is on board to produce the film with McFarlane.
"By getting Jason [Blum], it's no longer theoretical," McFarlane said. "I've been talking about it for years and years and years, to the point that I think people were tuning me out. I'd go, 'No, no, no, the boulder is now starting to move.'"
The project is wasting no time since being revealed around San Diego Comic-Con just a few months ago. "We just finished the script, we're going to be budgeting it, and then we'll go put the money together, and at that point then go to Hollywood, make our distribution deal," McFarlane said.
McFarlane predicts the budget will be between $10 million and $12 million, a figure significantly lower than a standard comic book movie blockbuster, but one which will allow Spawn to breed sequels and franchises. "If we can do it and get the opening that I think we can get; if we get the same number of people that came 20 years ago, the same number of people, in today's dollars that's $40,000,000," McFarlane said. "Then it will allow you again to go, let's get to the next one, let's get to the next one, let's get to the next one. I've told people that at the end of the first movie there's two directions you can go."
As for who will play the creepy titular anti-hero, McFarlane promises he has talked with "some big A-list actors," but doesn't want to reveal any names just yet. "I don't want to put anybody on the spot there," McFarlane said. "A lot of creep movies just work on their own without a big star. Think about your two or three favorite creepiest movies, most of them don't have stars in it, or they weren't the stars probably that they maybe became later. I know we're going to have that conversation of, let's just do the creep, and it's just going to work on its own. The lead character in the movie, which is a cop, at worst I just need somebody that will act their ass off, that is just a great actor. That opens up the bucket a little bit wider than saying you need an A-lister to put on, so we'll see."
The film has not locked in a location just yet but will look into places like Detroit, Cleveland, and Toronto as a means to capitalize on the filming incentives offered.