It's no secret that that 1997 film adaptation of the 'Spawn' comic books is something of a cinematic abomination, so you can't blame fans for getting excited every time someone brings up the possibility of the character getting a second shot at the big screen. After countless false starts and dead-ends over the years, it looks like they may be finally getting their wish: creator Todd MacFarlane claims (via The Gate) that he's hard at work on the screenplay right now and that it may go before cameras as soon as next year.

With Oscar-winning A-listers demanding to be cast as Spawn, MacFarlane is obviously aware that he's got to get this show on the road. That means lots of work and not a lot of time:

The reality is that I’ve got a lot of pressure. 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.

Actual details on the plot and direction of the film remain unknown at this time, but MacFarlane made it clear that the new film will be very different from the first and will stand out in a landscape crowded with comic adaptations and superhero movies. His take would be a smaller film, more focused on horror than big action:

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. 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.

It's a vision that makes sense. After all, Spawn is the commander of Hell's armies who has a change of heart -- he's perfectly suited for something that a little rougher, darker and grittier.

However, we have to wonder how much of this is actually 100% on the level. MacFarlane may be heavily involved in developing the film, but his constant references to tight schedules and how much he has on his plate makes us think that a 2014 start date may be a little optimistic. We have no doubt that a 'Spawn' reboot will happen, but we wouldn't be too surprised if it wasn't soon and if MacFarlane's involvement became a little more limited.