Todd McFarlane has been talking about rebooting Spawn for the big screen for a long time now. In fact, we have stories going all the way back to 2009 about the comic creator trying to get the movie off the ground, even going so far as to wishing Leonardo DiCaprio would take the role. Funnily enough, McFarlane recently landed DiCaprio’s Django Unchained co-star Jamie Foxx to tackle the lead role, and the actor’s involvement seemed to garner interest from financiers that would have finally gotten if made. However, scheduling issues have seemingly resulted in Jamie Foxx leaving Spawn.

UPDATE: has learned that Jamie Foxx has not departed the production. Get details along with our original story below.

Todd McFarlane recently had an interview with Shoryuken while discussing the addition of Spawn as a playable character to Mortal Kombat 11. It was the perfect opportunity to discuss the state of the Spawn reboot and see where it was at. Unfortunately, McFarlane had a disappointing update:

“Last week I got some discouraging news, we had an Academy Award-winning guy who was going to do the movie with us, but he fell off. We had people willing to fund the movie as long as we had this guy attached but schedules were conflicting, and things had to change. That’s how close we are to getting this thing off the ground.”

That’s gotta be a huge bummer for McFarlane. There was an Oscar-winning actor attached to this comic book movie, and now he doesn’t have a star. We’re not sure if Jeremy Renner remains involved after being linked to the project, but it doesn’t matter much without someone playing the title character.

UPDATE: learned that the “Academy Award-winning guy” that McFarlane was referring to isn’t Jamie Foxx, as many assumed. Instead, he’s referring to an unnamed writer with Oscar gold in his past. The name of the writer hasn’t been revealed, but now he’s departed the project anyway, and someone else will have to come on board.

Despite this setback, McFarlane feels confident that the time is now for him to deliver the Spawn movie he always wanted:

“Hollywood is a different place right now; they understand the value of what Spawn can bring to a reasonable budget. Joker lit the fire. Up until now it felt like I was pushing up this boulder on my own, but now there are others joining me who know that these stories should be told.”

Having said that, McFarlane does seem to be rather bull-headed about a couple details that might make it rather difficult for him to get the movie off the ground, even if he gets another big actor on board to star. McFarlane also added in this interview:

“I have very few demands for the movie. It has to be rated R, there’s no debate around that. With the story I want to tell, my intent goes back to that Spawn Cloud. I am less concerned about what happens in the movie as long as Spawn is “cool” and “badass”. The last demand is that I am the director. That’s it. Everything else is up for conversation.

I just want to show that there are better and smarter ways to entertain an audience than what they are used to. So much more is possible once you open yourself to rated R stories. But I can’t just do a cardboard version, I need the budget to do it. Just enough to make it the right way.”

The question is, does Todd McFarlane have what it takes as a filmmaker to do Spawn right? McFarlane doesn’t have any screenwriting experience, and the only directing he’s done has been for music videos for Korn, Disturbed, and Pearl Jam. Will anyone out there ever be willing to take a chance on his vision?

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