Now that Zack Snyder’s involvement with Warner Bros. and DC is officially and finally over, fans are wondering how well he would do with other superhero stories. When you consider his darker style and tone of filmmaking, he’d be perfectly suited for some of comics’ grittier characters. With a new Spawn movie on the horizon, wouldn’t Zack Snyder be the perfect choice to helm the reboot film?
With the recent news of the ongoing restructuring process over at DC, fans have begun to wonder what will happen to Zack Snyder. As controversial as the filmmaker might be, there’s no denying that Snyder has a unique visual identity that translates exceptionally well to the world of comic book adaptations.
Watchmen proved that Snyder’s style is better suited to some of the darker stories ever penned, which might also be why the theatrical cut of Justice League felt so out of place with the then-ongoing “Snyderverse.” Still, as much as some of the more die-hard critics would love to tell you that Snyder isn’t fit for comic book films anymore, I believe it’s just a matter of finding the correct source material for his directing style. That’s where Todd McFarlane’s Spawn comes in.
A Long Time Coming
For years, a new Spawn movie has been in development hell – which is quite ironic when you think about it. After 1997’s Spawn failed to garner the support it needed to become a proper live-action franchise, the Spawn IP has been essentially dead on the silver screen. However, like Albert Simmons, the character has been rumoured to be coming back to cinemas for a while now.
The original plan was for Todd McFarlane to direct this new live-action adaptation. That makes perfect sense since Spawn is one of McFarlane’s most beloved creations. However, as plans moved on, McFarlane left the spot as director open, with no one yet rumoured to be helming the project.
It’s been a long and bumpy ride trying to bring Spawn back to cinemas, but this might be the perfect chance for the antihero to return. Seeing the success of antiheroes in the comic book film market has been eye-opening for characters like Spawn, and the potential to become another Joker sounds too good to miss.
Besides, there’s been talks of Jamie Foxx playing the role of the titular character, which seems like too much of a perfect fit to ignore. The only other thing the yet unannounced Spawn revival film needs is the proper director – someone who can fill in the gap left by McFarlane and keeps things appropriately dark for the character. Zack Snyder might be a bit of a hit-or-miss director for some fans, but if he can recapture the same essence he had in Watchmen, I’d say we’re in for a wild ride with the hopefully still upcoming Spawn.
Spawn is far from being the usual superhero we’re used to from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Even the gritty take on the DC universe Zack Snyder produced over the past decade pales in comparison to some of the more sinister plots Spawn has had over the years. After all, a character whose origin story is literally making a pact with a demon to return to Earth back from Hell is expected to be kind of a grouchy fellow from time to time.
Still, Snyder isn’t just used to directing mainstream comic book films. His work in films such as 300 showed us that the filmmaker has a splendid grasp of how to tackle extreme violence in his films – all while making it look aesthetically pleasing at the same time.
The same applies to Watchmen, especially with the extended editions. Though it must be said that Snyder has a difficult time with nuance in his films, that shouldn’t be an issue when working on a live-action adaptation of Spawn of all things.
Even if some DC fans might still have their doubts about Snyder’s directing style, the success of the Snyder Cut over the original Justice League, as well as most of the currently established DC Extended Universe, owes its identity to Snyder’s visual style and narrative tone.
While it’s true that the DCEU has seemingly moved on from its Snyder days, the filmmaker’s influence can still be felt all over the franchise. If he manages to translate these sombre takes on what it means to be a hero, I believe they would be a perfect match for a character such as Spawn.
Some DC films that weren’t as well received by fans can still be recognized for their sublime cinematography. Just a look at almost any frame in Batman v Superman should be enough to give us an idea of what to expect, in terms of cinematography, from a Spawn movie directed by Zack Snyder.
To make things even more interesting, Zack Snyder could choose to go the Snyder Cut way and turn Spawn into a highly stylized black-and-white feature movie that accentuates McFarlane’s trademark shadowing style. It would work great for Spawn, seeing as his costume is mostly black and white anyways – perhaps a bit of the Schindler’s List or Sin City visual styles would be needed to bring his iconic cape to life, though.
Potential for a Franchise
It’s highly unlikely that McFarlane would be willing to bring back Spawn for just a single movie. Franchises have become the norm for any form of superhero flicks these days, and I don’t think that the legendary comic book artist is looking for a repeat of what happened with Spawn 1997.
Despite his critics, Snyder has proved that he has what it takes to turn his ideas into multi-movie deals, capable of standing on their own with a cohesion that Marvel films wish they could replicate. This is the same talent that brought us most of the DC cinematic universe of the last decade and continues to be the subject of enthusiastic discussion online among DC fans.
Without a clear plan for the new Spawn revival yet, all we can do is theorize about what the movie will eventually be like. However, considering the recent “collapse” of the DCEU, it seems more than probable that Snyder might be at the top of McFarlane’s list of potential directors for the project.
While I would be okay with Snyder moving away from the whole superhero theme for a time – as he seems to be doing with his Army of the Dead franchise – I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing Spawn brought to theatres by the same man who turned Watchmen into one of the best, most satisfyingly-stylized films of all time. If there’s one director who knows how to make edgy characters look cool in movies, that’s definitely Zack Snyder – and if we’re talking of edgy superheroes, no one is edgier than Spawn. It’s a match made in Heaven for the antihero from Hell.