Spawn creator and co-Image Comics founder, Todd McFarlane, stopped by New York Comic Con to dish about his latest Spawn film, his time at marvel, and his unusual musical preferences while he writes.
First and foremost, McFarlane spoke at length about R-rated movies, their recent success, and the success of low-budget movies that can be turned around for large profits. Taking aim at comic movies like Logan and Deadpool, and also at recent box office successes by Blumhouse Productions, he covered a lot of ground. Obviously, comic movies are his area of focus, and he’s partnering with Blumhouse to produce Spawn, so it makes sense. Of note, he pointed the unique window of opportunity to make these movies, and his own movie, due to these recent successes.
He also spent some time detailing how he thought outside the box while at Marvel, having taken over the art for Spider-Man, and how, ultimately, it’s the ability to try things differently that lead to his success. He didn’t limit creativity to himself though, and expounded upon the virtue of people with decision-making power allowing those below them to take chances and to try new things. McFarlane alluded to this being one reason why his partnership with Blumhouse works: Jason Blum, the super-producer behind Blumhouse, takes chances (like allowing a comedian to write and direct and create Get Out). McFarlane feels that he’ll be able to go to a dark place with his character, and make a totally “normal” film that has one amazing thing in it: Spawn.
Oh, and did he mention that Spawn won’t talk? Pointing to the success of monster movies like Jaws that featured main characters that never uttered a word of dialog, McFarlane seemed convinced this will work.
But beyond having a silent protagonist, he feels the film will work by being a new direction, not another origin story, preferring not to attach himself to 20-year-old material. And, in what felt like a planned bit of exposition, he elaborated that we have three Fantastic Four movies that are all reboots and origin stories, “That’s not how I would do it,” he said. And I suspect, if Spawn is a success, he’ll have–or hopes to have–the opportunity to prove exactly how he’d make other, comic movies, maybe even tentpole franchises.
This feels like the latest Spawn movie is only step one in a McFarlane master plan to evolve into a more prominent role in filmmaking.
Revealing that he listens to music while in his creative process, he emphasized that he doesn’t listen to music with lyrics–he can’t hear those words while forming his own in his mind. After slight pressing from the hosts, he revealed what he does listen to. “It’s the piano track from the Titanic soundtrack. Rose’s theme.” He listens to it on repeat for 12 hours at a time.