WM Presents: Full history of the cursed The Crow remake (2008- 2022)

Posted: 07/07/2022 in Uncategorized
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First thing first- I have nothing against the different remakes and re-imaginings (as long as they have something new and interesting to offer) but some movies should just never be remade. Near the top of that list is Alex Proyas’s The Crow (1994), adaptation of James O’Barr‘s cult comicbook and the last staring role of Brandon Lee who tragically lost his life during the filming.

Just that fact alone (combined with his iconic performance that can’t be duplicated) should be enough but unfortunately Hollywood producers can’t be expected to show even an ounce of human decency.

Hell, if they decided to do a fifth sequel, last one being The Crow: Wicked Prayer (staring Edward Furlong) they could only go up but the role of Eric Draven should never be recast. Here we go:

2008, December- Stephen Norington announced that he is to write and direct a “reinvention” of The Crow. “Whereas Proyas’ original was gloriously gothic and stylized, the new movie will be realistic, hard-edged and mysterious, almost documentary-style.” Sounds bad already.

2011, April- After Norrington stepped away from the project, 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo has signed to direct. Bradley Cooper was inexplicably it talks to play the lead.

Bradley Cooper, fine actor but he looks more like an Owl to me.

2011, August- Cooper drops out due to scheduling issues and Mark Wahlberg is in talks for a lead. That doesn’t sound much better.

2012, January- F. Javier Gutierrez (Before The Fall, Rings) signs on as a director.

“We’re thrilled to have teamed with director Javier Gutierrez and screenwriter Jesse Wigutow on this story, which remains true to the core of Eric Draven’s plight for revenge,” he said. “Giving too much away wouldn’t be any fun. ‘Disorder, chaos, anarchy — now that’s fun!'” (producer) Edward R. Pressman

2012, December- Gutierrez is scouting shooting locations for The Crow, start of filming seems imminent. (Of course we now know it’s at least a decade away.)

2013, February It’s reported that James McAvoy is in talks to play Eric but it’s seemingly pure speculation with no basis in reality.

2013, April- after a talk with Tom Hiddleston (Loki) doesn’t pen out Alexander Skarsgard seems to be the next forerunner for the role. Interesting choice seeing where we’ll end up with this.

2013, May- Welsh actor Luke Evans is finally cast in the lead role. (They finally got someone who looks like a character from the comicbook). He is full of praise for the original movie: “The Crow was a very poignant film from my childhood, which I remember vividly. The soundtrack, also. It was such a solid performance that Brandon Lee gave. It was a very tragic end for somebody that probably would have had a very promising career… I’m Eric Draven. I’m the same character. Obviously, he’s been refreshed and brought up to date. We’re reimagining it to a certain extent, but the story and the plot is mostly the same.”

If this movie had to happen- Evans was a solid choice

2013, July- author of the original comic series James O’Barr finally sells out and joins the project as a consultant. Was it worth it?

“It is important for ‘Crow’ fans to understand that Relativity, Javier, Luke and the entire team are working on a new adaptation of the book itself.”

2014, December- after a long silence Corin Hardy (The Nun) replaces F. Javier Gutierrez as the director of The Crow. The reason given is Gutierrez‘ choice to direct The Rings for Paramount. He remains an Executive Producer on the film. O’Barr supposedly persuaded Gutierrez to move on from the film after multiple delays.

Next day Luke Evans confirmed he was dropping out of the film too, saying; “It’s not, no. No at the minute The Crow is not, not for me, I think it’s a little… I mean I’m sure it’s going to go ahead at some point, but I have other projects that are greenlit and ready to go and projects that I’m very interested in and you know, I can’t wait much longer!”

2015, February, James O’Barr gave an interview stating that Evans exit was partially due to the studio being unwilling to pay him an A-Lister fee due to his success with hits such as Fast and Furious 6, The Hobbit films and Dracula Untold.

2015, March- James O’Barr announces that Jack Huston and Jessica Findley Brown have been cast as Eric and Shelly. The film will be shot in Summer 2015, with a nearly all English cast including a Game of Thrones veteran.

2016, August- Mashable post exclusive that Jason Momoa (Justice League, Aquaman) is cast as
Eric Draven. Momoa confirms it with a photo of himself and Hardy toasting with pint of black beauty. Things seem to finally be back on track. At least for a moment.

2018, March Sony announces that The Crow would be released in theaters on October 11, 2019.Things go sideways almost immediately after that.

2018, May- Jason Momoa talks about project’s demise and apologizes to fans on Instagram. Deadline reports pair cited “creative and financial differences” with producer Samuel Hadida, who was responsible for financing the film. That happened just 5 weeks before the filming was about to start in Budapest, Hungary.

2022, April- On April’ Fools day Rupert Sanders (Ghost in the Shell, Snow White and the Huntsman, ) is announced as the new director with Bill Skarsgård (IT) cast as Eric. Later it’s confirmed that English singer FKA Twigs is cast too. Unfortunately, turns out it’s not a joke.

Verdict: As of writing this FilmNation are marching on with Sanders and Skarsgard and filming is about to start any day now in Germany and Czech Republic. Will it actually happen- let’s wait and see.

Movie is currently 20 million dollars behind without a single shot being filmed and will lose a whole lot of more even if they by some miracle manage to start the principal photography. But, so far the curse continues, and I can’t help but think that- that is for the best.

The original director Alex Proyas said it best: “If it wasn’t for Brandon you may never have even heard of this poignant little underground comic. It is Brandon’s movie. I believe it is a special case where Hollywood should just let it remain a testament to a man’s immense talent and ultimate sacrifice – and not have others re-write that story or add to it.

“I know sequels were made, and TV shows, and what have you, but the notion of ‘rebooting’ this story, and the original character – a character Brandon gave life to at too high a cost – seems wrong to me. Please let this remain Brandon’s film.

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