With the 1997 film Spawn being a moderate success, work began on a sequel after its initial release. Star Michael Jai White confirmed he would return for the film. Creator Todd McFarlane and comic book scribe Steve Niles reportedly wrote the first draft of the script for the film, which focused primarily on homicide detectives Sam and Twitch from the original source material. In fact, McFarlane revealed that it focused so heavily on the pair of them that Spawn has exactly no lines of dialogue in the script. This of course didn’t sit well with Sony, who picked up the rights, so writer Hans Rodionoff was brought in to give it more Spawn.
“One of the challenges of doing a movie where the protagonist is a demon is that it’s kind of hard to feel for that character,” Rodionoff told Comics2Film. “One of the things Niles and Todd did with the last draft was have it be more of a Sam and Twitch story. … The problem is it became solely a Sam and Twitch movie and there wasn’t enough Spawn.”
Rodionoff went on to describe his take on the material as “Like Riggs and Murtaugh [from Lethal Weapon]. If you dropped Blade into Lethal Weapon, you’ve got sort of what I’m going for.”
The film eventually lingered long enough in development hell that McFarlane scrapped the plans for it being an outright sequel and began campaigning for a reboot of Spawn on film. That film’s journey, however, is still incomplete, and for another time.