Everything We Know About The Crow Remake

It’s been a long time coming, but a remake of the 1994 film The Crow (which was based on the comic book series created by James O’Barr) will finally be making its way out into the world on August 23rd, which is when Lionsgate will be giving the film a theatrical release. With that release date swiftly approaching, we figured we should gather together all the information we have on this movie… and here it is, Everything We Know About The Crow Remake:

DEVELOPMENT HELL

When the original The Crow was released, it was successful enough to spawn a franchise, with three sequels following over the next eleven years. We got The Crow: City of Angels in 1996, The Crow: Salvation in 2000, and The Crow: Wicked Prayer in 2005, with several other potential sequels (including one that would have been written and directed by Rob Zombie) being developed and scrapped along the way. But in 2008, the producers shifted gears. Rather than move forward with another sequel, they announced they would be making a “reinvention” or a “remake.” The first director attached to the project was Blade director Stephen Norrington – but he was far from the last. For the next decade, filmmakers would drift in and out of the world of The Crow while the project got bogged down by creative differences, scheduling issues, studio disagreements, and even the bankruptcy of a production and distribution company.

After Norrington left the project, directors Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, F. Javier Gutierrez, and Corin Hardy came and went. Multiple drafts of the script were written by the likes of Norrington, Nick Cave, Alex Tse, Jesse Wigutow, Cliff Dorfman, and even James O’Barr. The plan was always to have Eric Draven, the character Brandon Lee played in the original film, at the heart of the film. This is a retelling of his story. And actors who were either signed on to play Eric or considered for the role over the years include Mark Wahlberg, Bradley Cooper, Channing Tatum, Ryan Gosling, James McAvoy, Tom Hiddleston, Alexander Skarsgard, Luke Evans, Jack Huston, Nicholas Hoult, Jack O’Connell, and Jason Momoa. Kristen Stewart was considered for the role of Eric’s girlfriend Shelly Webster, whose murder he sets out to avenge. Jessica Brown Findlay was cast in the role at one point. Norman Reedus and Forest Whitaker were up for supporting roles. Andrea Riseborough was going to play a female version of the villain Top Dollar. None of this panned out.

The Crow remake

DIRECTOR AND SCRIPT

The creative team that was finally able to get The Crow remake into production in 2022 was headed up by director Rupert Sanders, who previously directed Snow White and the Huntsman and Ghost in the Shell. Sanders told Vanity Fair that he was drawn to the project because it was an “opportunity to make a dark romance, something that dealt with loss, grief, and the ethereal veil between life and death and reaching through that. Look, I grew up listening to Joy Division and The Cure, and this movie is a bit like a Cure song—the beauty of melancholy.” The initial draft of the screenplay was written by Oscar-nominated King Richard writer Zach Baylin, with William Josef Schneider stepping in to handle revisions.

While Eric Draven and Shelly Webster were murdered right up front in the original film, the approach Sanders and the writers took for the remake was to build up their romance before the violence. We can expect to see Eric and Shelly’s love story play out for a while before danger enters their lives… but, of course, they are eventually killed, and Eric rises from the dead to seek revenge.

Here’s the official synopsis: Soulmates Eric Draven (Skarsgard) and Shelly Webster (FKA twigs) are brutally murdered when the demons of her dark past catch up with them. Given the chance to save his true love by sacrificing himself, Eric sets out to seek merciless revenge on their killers, traversing the worlds of the living and the dead to put the wrong things right.

The Crow

CAST

Although Alexander Skarsgard was an Eric Draven contender in the past, the final choice for the role ended up being his younger brother Bill Skarsgard, best known for playing the evil clown Pennywise in the recent adaptations of Stephen King’s It. While Eric was a goth rocker in earlier versions of the story, the remake gives the musician a new style that’s partially inspired by modern real-world musicians Post Malone and Lil Peep (along with Sanders’ personal style when he was squat-raving in London back in the day). This look has proven to be quite controversial with a lot of The Crow fans – but this project has been controversial from the start, since many fans aren’t exactly enthusiastic about seeing the Eric Draven story retold.

Singer/songwriter FKA Twigs was cast as Shelly Webster, the love of Eric’s life. Danny Huston (the uncle of Jack Huston, who was once attached to play Eric) plays the villain, with the supporting cast including Isabella Wei, Laura Birn, Sami Bouajila, Jordan Bolger, and David Bowles.

TRAILER AND STORY INFO

A trailer for The Crow remake dropped online in March, and that can be seen in the embed above. Another trailer, which revealed more about the story, was shown to attendees of the CinemCon event in April – and JoBlo’s own Lance Vlcek was there to see. Lance wrote in that attendees were told this version of The Crow is “a complete re-imagining that is not meant to compete with the original. The Lionsgate rep made mention how the original graphic novel is different than the beloved movie and made a point that the trailer was divisive, but they want to tell this story for a new generation.” As for what was shown in the new trailer, Lance said, “An afterlife way-station where a man (David Bowles) gives him the rules. Reminds me of the Skull Cowboy (not in look, as Bowles looks like a normal guy) but in terms of explaining the rules and what needs to be done. Shelly Draven is heading ‘down,’ hinting she’s heading to a dark place and that if Eric wants her back, he must ‘Put the wrong things right.’ It’s here he gets the power of the Crow and he assignment on how to fix things and bring Shelly back. He heals slowly, and he feels everything. It’s a pain he must bear in order to go through the ‘mission’ of taking down the crime family who killed him and Shelly Webster (FKA twigs). There is a big focus, like in the first trailer, about how Eric will be going through a lot of pain, and be a very violent and aggressive character while getting revenge. It has that new action style that John Wick and similar movies have made popular. It had a bit more focus on the love between Shelly and Eric, and it looks like maybe the first act is their story. Meeting in a corrections facility, getting out and starting a life together. We don’t get any new info on the bad guys or exactly what transpired that ended both of their lives.

This all lines up with SPOILER information that surfaced online at the end of last year. Someone who caught a test screening reported that the film is very different from the James O’Barr source material, carrying over only a few characters and the basic concept. They said the film has a very slow pace and vibe reminiscent of Drive or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The Eric / Shelly love story is the focus for the first act, but then Danny Huston is introduced as a powerful businessman with supernatural abilities – and Shelly and Eric are murdered after Shelly witnesses him using those abilities. When the resurrected Eric sets out for revenge, he still feels pain from the wounds he receives and his healing abilities are much slower than those demonstrated by Brandon Lee’s version of the character. They also said that he doesn’t fully obtain the traditional “The Crow” look until the final act of the film – but whether he has that look or not, Bill Skarsgard is said to deliver a great performance.

ALEX PROYAS

Alex Proyas, the direct of the 1994 film, has let it be known that he is not happy that the producers decided to move ahead with a remake. He has mocked the look of the new Eric Draven and, when the first trailer was released, he dismissed the new film as “Crow Wick.” He went on to explain, “I really don’t get any joy from seeing negativity about any fellow filmmakers work. And I’m certain the cast and crew really had all good intentions, as we all do on any film. So it pains me to say any more on this topic, but I think the fan’s response speaks volumes. The Crow is not just a movie. Brandon Lee died making it, and it was finished as a testament to his lost brilliance and tragic loss. It is his legacy. That’s how it should remain.

And that’s everything we know about The Crow remake. Not everyone is happy that it exists, but we’re getting it nonetheless, and it’s going to be in theatres very soon. So leave a comment below and let us know – are you looking forward to this movie?

The Crow Bill Skarsgard

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/everything-we-know-about-the-crow-remake/

Previous article28 Days Later: How Will It Look in 4K?
Next articleLuca Guadagnino says Challengers’ Spider-Man scene wasn’t meant to be an easter egg