On the heels of news that Keith David, who provided the voice of Spawn in the original HBO animated series, will return to the role for the next Mortal Kombat game, the character's creator surprised fans at Fan Expo Canada over the weekend with the news that he is developing a pair of new animated series -- one for adults and another for kids -- set in the world of Spawn. These series would exist along with the planned Spawn feature film -- being reimagined as an R-rated horror movie from Blumhouse, the studio behind Get Out and The Purge. There is also a Sam and Twitch series reportedly in development for BBC America, although there have been no updates on the status of that project for quite some time.
The veteran artist and Image Comics co-founder told fans at the convention that he expects the animated projects will not take shape until after the film, which will star Jamie Foxx and Jeremy Renner, is completed. That movie will be McFarlane's directorial debut. There is no official word yet on when the project will be ready to go in front of cameras; it has been in the works for a long time and was originally slated to begin filming last year.
"We're talking right now. I just had a couple meetings this weekend about a couple different animation looks, both something that we can get kids in at a younger age and then get them into the sort of crack cocaine version of Spawn," McFarlane said. "And then do the adult one. So we're talking about that. I think both of those come after the movie."
Jamie Foxx is set to play Al Simmons, the man who becomes Spawn. Jeremy Renner will play Detective Twitch Williams, who along with his partner Sam Burke are usually the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the Spawn Universe...but Sam isn't part of the movie, so it seems Twitch will be a little less light as well.
The Walking Dead's Greg Nicotero and his company KNB EFX Group will develop the effects for the film. McFarlane is partnering with Blumhouse to produce. The movie still does not have a distributor, but Universal has first-look rights per the studio's deal with Blumhouse.
"Well, you know, I'm gonna do some simple stuff that isn't with the norm," McFarlane told ComicBook.com in June. "Even just going R-rated takes it out of the PG-13 category. Now, with it being R, we've now seen a couple of examples of that. Deadpool and Logan seem to be. Venom, I think Venom is gonna be R-rated. So, I'm hoping that our category succeeds. So that it will broaden the thought process of the studio executives to go, 'Oh, it doesn't have to be something onscreen that sells a bunch of toys and T-shirts.' It can just be a something that's a little more gritty.
"For me, I know that I'm at the far end of R. Like, true drama, dark, serious R. I'm treating it as a real movie, minus the one thing that's in there that will be fantastic with this R. So, minus that, everything is gritty. There are no arch villains. There's no headquarters. There are no big ray guns. There are none of some of the trappings that we're used to in some of the other big movies."
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