In one scene, Clown says "I'm not the Vindicator or the Victimizer or the Vaporizer or the Vibrator! I'm...The Violator!". In the Spawn comics there are five Phlebiac Brothers, which are denizens of Hell called Violator, Vandalizer, Vaporizer, Vindicator and Vacillator.
In the Spawn comic book, Spawn is killed by a man named Chapel. Because the character was owned by artist Rob Liefeld, the killer was changed to the character of Jessica Priest, keeping with the Church-themed name.
Cagliostro appears in this movie as Spawn's mentor. In real life, he was an occultist in the 1700s who traveled Europe and Egypt and would eventually found Occult Freemasonry. He was also a noted charlatan who would eventually be imprisoned in the Bastille and banished from France, then tried in Rome for heresy, magic, conjury, and Freemasonry. He died in solitary confinement in the castle of San Leo in 1795.
'The film was originally green-lit with a budget of $20 million. The scale of the visual effects led New Line to continually increase the project budget, which grew to $40 million-a third of which was spent on the effects. The shooting schedule was only 63 days. To cut production times by a week, Clint Goldman lent $1 million to engage John Grower's Santa Barbara Studios to develop the digitally produced Hell sequences. The visual effects shot count increased from 77 to over 400, created by 22 companies in the United States, Canada and Japan, requiring 70 people and nearly 11 months to complete. ILM did most of the work, creating 85 shots at a cost of $8.5 million. The most difficult sequences in the film to render included the Violator, Spawn's digital cape, and some of Spawn's transformations. More than half of the final effects shots were delivered two weeks before the film's debut.
Michael Jai White found Al Simmons' character appealing; he described Spawn as "the most tragic character I've encountered in any cinematic production." He says it was a challenge to make audiences sympathize with a government assassin who comes back from hell. White had to endure two to four hours of make-up work, including a full glued-on bodysuit, yellow contact lenses that irritated his eyes, and a mask that restricted his breathing. He said that his long-time experience with martial arts helped him endure the uncomfortable prosthetics, giving him "strong will and unbreakable concentration."
John Leguizamo revealed in a interview, one day while he was shooting he had to go to the restroom very badly. However it took almost an hour to get out of the suit he was wearing. Leguizamo wound up reliving himself while in the suit by accident due to it taking so long to get the suit off.
The Devil in this film calls himself Malebolgia. This is a name used by Dante in The Divine Comedy, however, it refers to a place rather than an individual. In Dante's work, the Malebolgia were the Infernal Pits, a particular place located in the seventh circle of Hell where the damned were buried, head down, in pits filled with insects.
In 1997, when Spawn was released, two sequels were on the cards, Spawn 2 due for release in 1998 and Spawn 3: The Ultimate Battle for release in 1999. Neither of these came to fruition and a sequel has been in development hell ever since. Todd MacFarlane, scriptwriter, has now completed a script for a reboot and will be around for a 2018 release.
Columbia Pictures showed interest in making a film adaptation of Spawn when the comic book was launched in 1992. Negotiations eventually fell through as Todd McFarlane felt the studio was not giving him enough creative control. McFarlane eventually sold the film rights to New Line Cinema for $1 in exchange for creative input and merchandising rights.
The heavy metal band Iced Earth, which has made an album based on the comic Spawn, were offered the opportunity to be on the soundtrack. They turned it down, because they thought there was too much techno music on it.
The FN P90 and H&K MP7-PDW submachine guns used by Spawn and other characters in the movie are not genuine P90s or MP7s. Both weapon types in this film were actually heavily modified Ingram MAC-10s dressed up to look like real P90s and MP7s by the film's armorer, Harry Lu.