(CBR)  Last year, Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane celebrated the 20th anniversary of Spawn, a milestone that rekindled questions about the character’s potential return to theaters. He made his big-screen debut in 1997, in an action film that starred Michael Jai White and John Leguizamo, which grossed more than $87 million for New Line Cinema.

“The reality is that I’ve got a lot of pressure,” McFarlane told The Gate over the weekend at Fan Expo Canada. “They want me to deliver the script by the end of the year, which would basically mean we’d be shooting next year. So, that’s the goal right now.

“The thing that keeps slowing it down is that the negotiation I’ve done is I write, produce, direct, but I’ve got to push a lot of my other endeavors off to the side so I can just get tunnel vision on it. And so everybody at my company is now going, ‘We’ve got to find Todd the time to finish all this.’”

McFarlane explained he sees the project as a 60- to 70-day shoot. “I think it’s a quick shoot. It’s not going to be a giant budget with a lot of special effects, it’s going to be more of a horror movie and a thriller movie, not a superhero one,” he said. “I’ve got so many people phoning now that I’ve got to get it done. I’ve made some promises to people this year.”

He also spoke generally about recent comments by actors like Jamie Foxx, who said he’s “aggressively pursuing” the role of Spawn.

“You know what, we’ve had some big names – like who you’re mentioning – come to the office and go ‘We want to be in it,’” McFarlane said. “Sometimes they give me their pitch, I give them my pitch, I go, ‘We can get in it, this is how it goes,’ and so those types of actors–Academy Award guys – they’re going, ‘As soon as that scripts done, we’re going.’ So once we get this thing done, we’ll get it off the ground with some big names.”

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