As Warner Bros. and Marvel Studios continue to explore comic book storytelling through new styles and genres, other studios and companies are looking to explore superhero stories of their own.
One of the latest examples of this trend is Blumhouse Productions and its upcoming reboot of Spawn.
First launched by Image Comics in 1992, Spawn follows a former black-ops agent who, after making a deal with a demon and dies, returns to Earth as a spawn of hell.
After a successful debut, Spawn was adapted into a feature film in 1997 and then an HBO animated series that spanned from 1997 to 1999.
While the dark tones of Spawn already suit Blumhouse and its specialization in horror, the company looks to be keeping with comic book talent for the property's second run at the big screen.
Marvel Writer Joins New Superhero Project
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Captain America: New World Order writer Malcolm Spellman is set to pen Blumhouse's upcoming film, Spawn.
Spellman, who also wrote Marvel's The Falcon and the Winter Soldier for Disney+, will be joined by Matthew Mixon and Joker's Scott Silver.
Even though Spellman has been focused on Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson in recent years, the jump from Marvel to Blumhouse is still in-line with his area of expertise due to Spawn being a comic book character.
Spawn creator McFarlane, who wrote a draft of the script, is among the film's producers and is reportedly interested in directing the film.
However, he has also confessed that, due to the involvement of Spellman and other comic book writers, he may not be the best choice:
“If we’ve got an A-list actor, A-list producers, A-list writers, then do you want to shoot for A-list directors, A-list cinematographers? The answer is, ‘of course.’ Let’s keep the momentum going.”
Spellman has also noted that Spawn is an important character for him personally, saying, "Todd McFarlane's SPAWN character was always one of my favorites:"
“I grew up in Berkeley, which is a comic book city. Todd McFarlane’s SPAWN character was always one of my favorites — a Black superhero that was no bullshit, he was cool and dealt with modern issues. Myself, Matt Mixon, and Scott Silver are pledged to honoring what Todd started and what SPAWN is at its core, delivering something that’s relevant and edgy and unlike any other superhero movie out there.”
Why Captain America Writer is Perfect for Spawn
There's no denying that in recent years, studios have begun to embrace darker superhero stories.
In addition to 2019's Joker, Matt Reeves' The Batman was definitely geared towards an adult audience. And, Marvel Studios appears to be following suit having leaned into mature and violent content with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Moon Knight, and the soon-to-be-released Werewolf by Night.
So even though this Blumhouse reboot has been in the works since 2017, it seems that there has never been a better time for Spawn to return to the screen.
While timing appears to be a stroke of luck, the decision to team Spellman with Joker's Scott Silver is pure strategy.
In addition to Silver's experience in writing R-rated material based on a comic book character, Spellman's tenure in working with Marvel Studios, coupled with his interest in both Spawn and modern issues, offers Blumhouse both passion and experience.
While Blumhouse has yet to confirm Spawn's release, fans know to expect more of Malcolm Spellman's writing in Captain America 4 come 2024.
Captain America: New World Order is set to release on May 3, 2024.