After residing in development hell for the better part of a decade, it would appear that a remake/reboot of The Crow is finally going to happen. Director F. Javier Gutiérrez has been attached to the project for almost two years now, and Welsh actor Luke Evans (Dracula Untold) came aboard not long after. With franchise producer Ed Pressman recently confirming plans to begin production in spring 2015, things seem to be progressing at a steady clip. Of course, arguably the most important man involved with The Crow’s rebirth is not himself a filmmaker at all, but rather author James O’Barr, creator of the original Crow graphic novel.
Getting O’Barr involved with The Crow reboot was no easy feat, as the author had publicly criticized the idea on several different occasions. O’Barr had a lot of creative involvement with Alex Proyas’ classic 1994 film adaptation of The Crow, and had become great friends with late actor Brandon Lee during production. The fact that Lee died tragically before filming could be completed left an aura of sorrow around the entire project, almost to the point where the entire movie was scrapped. Thankfully, things eventually did get finished, with many (including O’Barr) seeing the film as Lee’s enduring legacy.
It took a personal visit from Gutiérrez himself to change O’Barr’s mind about once again bringing The Crow to the big screen, one in which the director reinforced the idea that his intention was never to simply remake the 1994 film. Gutiérrez instead wants to do a page one re-adaptation of O’Barr’s book, which underwent many changes on the way to theaters.
For one, Eric and his girlfriend Shelley are never given last names in the book. The name Eric Draven was a creation of Proyas and screenwriters David J. Schow and John Shirley. This notion struck a chord with O’Barr, who feels that changing or removing the main character’s last name would allow Brandon Lee to forever remain Eric Draven, all the while allowing Luke Evans to carve out his claim to The Crow’s mantle.
Proving their dedication to the source material, both Gutiérrez and Evans personally sought out and received O’Barr’s blessing before beginning work on the new Crow film, but things didn’t stop there. O’Barr was hired on by producers as a creative consultant on the new film, much in the same capacity he served during the making of the 1994 original. O’Barr once again has complete control of the soundtrack, and also gets a large say in the casting and scripting processes.
That first bit will likely have Crow fans jumping for joy, as the 1994 film’s soundtrack remains one of the most beloved of that decade. O’Barr’s plan is to include music from vintage bands like Joy Division and The Cure, while also adding tracks from modern bands of the same style.
While James O’Barr’s creative approval will certainly help to quell some fans fears about the prospect of a Crow remake, there are always going to be those who refuse to accept anyone but Brandon Lee in the title role. O’Barr seems to realize that he’ll have to fight hard to win over those people, but also seems confident in the direction that Gutiérrez and Evans have in mind for his most famous work. If nothing else, a new Crow film overseen by the franchise’s creator could serve to finally wash the taste of all those terrible sequels out of our mouths. After all, it can’t rain all the time.
The Crow remake/reboot is aiming to begin production in spring 2015.