Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Todd MacFarlane, genius marketer, promises there will be "no joy" in his Spawn reboot

Todd McFarlane
Photo: Tommaso Boddi (Getty Images)

The “dark” superhero movie feels like the next evolution in Hollywood’s most pervasive modern genre, especially in the wake of Logan’s acclaim. Now, with Zack Snyder’s DC duds having set the template for how not to do it, a few forthcoming films are hoping to blaze the trail, whether it be Josh Boone’s horror spin on The New Mutants, Neil Marshall’s Hellboy, or even M. Night Shyamalan’s Split and Unbreakable crossover Glass. Add Blumhouse’s long-in-the-works Spawn reboot to that list, as creator, director, and screenwriter Todd McFarlane says “there’s no joy” in his new adaptation.

“There’s no joy,” McFarlane told Nerdist in a new interview, probably while wearing pitch-black contact lenses. “There’s gonna be no fun lines in it, and it’s just gonna be this dark, ugly two hours worth of movie, which is essentially what a lot of supernatural/horror movies are anyway. There’s not a lot of funny in them. And that seems to be a weird hurdle for a lot of people in this city to get over because they sort of go into a superhero/Avengers default all the time.”


McFarlane previously said the movie would have a “dark R” rating, and he name-checked flicks like The Thing and The Ring when discussing how Jamie Foxx’s turn as the titular character wouldn’t feature much dialogue. The material certainly suits the approach, but the “no joy” tactic is a curious one, what with joy being, at least by our definition, a subjective emotion.

Spawn is currently in pre-production. 

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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