Todd McFarlane Taps Greg Nicotero for Spawn Reboot's FX

The Walking Dead special effects guru will be working on Spawn.

By Chris Morse

We've got some exciting news about Todd McFarlane's upcoming Spawn movie. Long-time special effects wizard and The Walking Dead executive producer Greg Nicotero has joined the upcoming reboot with his company, KNB EFX Group, to handle the film's visual effects. The news broke earlier today on via a discussion with Spawn creator Todd McFarlane as well as Nicotero.

McFarlane knew this film might need to rely heavily on practical effects and Nicotero was an obvious pick to do the job and do it well. Check out his comments below.

When I conceived of the story to start with, I never really thought of it as big special effects extravaganza because I knew we weren't going to have the budget for it. So I knew I was going to rely heavily on practical makeup and costuming, and one of the places that kept popping up was my good pal Greg Nicotero on his KNB Group. And he's obviously done a tremendous amount of work on dozens and dozens of movies. The sort of serendipitous part of it is that Greg was there at the beginning 20 years ago for the original Spawn movie.

Nicotero, on the other hand, is excited to work with McFarlane once more, complimenting his vision for the the film and creative genius as a whole in his own statement about the collaboration.

I've been friends with Todd since we did the original Spawn, and the guy's just a genius. I love the way his mind works. He thinks very, very graphically. I know he really loves the idea of Spawn being dark, and I love the animated show. It's just a really great opportunity for us to get a chance to collaborate again.

McFarlane is urging caution for anybody who thinks this might be a repeat of the last live-action Spawn movie, reassuring fans that things are going to be much different this time around. In terms of the visuals and creative process, the team is drawing back to 25 years of the franchise to really nail down what the creator has in mind for the new film.

Here's what McFarlane had to say about that creative process and how much he was involved in it.

​I think it would be a mistake for people to go, "Oh, it's going to look like the first movie." No. That's not the task nor is that sort of where we're at creatively. So when I sat down with Greg and his staff, I just said, "Here's what I see visually." I gave them some reference at some images throughout the 25-year history of Spawn that I thought was close to what I was talking about. And then I just stepped back and let them start taking a whack at it.

Each time they sent me something, I would then draw over it and go, "Hey. How about a little bit of this, a little bit of that?" And then I thought very quickly we actually got to our look of what it is that we want to go at. KNB came out of the gate, showed me a wide, wide range of looks. I was able to narrow it down.

Nicotero was also heavily involved in the process, adding his own thoughts on the matter.

We spent about six weeks coming up with some concept art, and designing the character, and a lot of it was kind of getting to the roots of what he's about. He's this sort of part feral animal, driven completely by this rage that he has, and he really embraced the idea of getting the sense of how much we want to see of this character, and what we want the audience to see.

It's always the situation where you give the audience at times glimpses of things to allow them to put things together in their minds, and I think there's a very specific way that Todd wants to build these impressions of what Spawn is, and what he looks like by starting out with some kind of simple, very evocative imagery, and flashes. One minute he's there, and the next minute he's not. Kind of cool stuff.

Either way, we think this Spawn reboot is in great hands with Nicotero coming on board. In this new film, Jamie Foxx is playing the titular character, also known as Al Simmons, and is being joined by Jeremy Renner, who is playing the role of Twitch Williams. Blumhouse Productions is producing with Todd McFarlane writing and directing.

There is no word yet on when Spawn will start filming or what the expected release date might be, but we'll be sure to provide updates here on Dead Entertainment as the production moves along.

About the Author

Chris Morse

Programmer by day, writer by night. Having grown up surrounded by plenty of horror movies and video games, it only made sense for Chris to combine all of these passions into one place: Dead Entertainment. Whether he's working on designs, tinkering with the platform, or just writing up the latest horror news, he's sure to be hard at work keeping the wheels turning on this website no matter what time of day it is. When not coding or gaming, you can find him donning a Cheesehead and heading to the Midwest to cheer on his favorite NFL team, the Green Bay Packers. #GoPackGo

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