James O’Barr may have given Relativity Media’s reboot of The Crow his blessing, but the long-germinating project still feels cursed; despite having a leading man in Luke Evans and a loose start date that falls somewhere in 2015, the film keeps running over every possible pothole on the road to theaters. Lest we all forget, The Crow has languished in developmental limbo for half a decade, thereabouts. This picture has never had an easy time of it.
The latest wrinkle in The Crow‘s tortured production is directorial. Spanish filmmaker F. Javier Gutiérrez has been on board to steer the proverbial ship for Relativity for a while, but a new entry in The Ring series has lured him away toward more haunted shores. Well played, Samara. Gutiérrez made his escape from The Crow back in August, thereabouts, leaving the film yet again without a helmsman and put Relativity in the undesirable position of having to race to find a new one.
But there’s good news, or at least neutral news: the studio has solved the problem by bringing in another young filmmaker to bring their plans for The Crow to fruition, which means that its right back where they were before Gutiérrez left. (In this case, it’s just the latest example of directors playing musical chairs on a project) Deadline is reporting that Relativity has chosen music video director and feature filmmaking newcomer Corin Hardy as Gutiérrez’s replacement.
A quick bio on Hardy: his full-length debut, the Ireland-set horror movie The Hallow, premieres next year, and he’s tried his hand at shooting short films in the past (see: 2003’s Butterfly), but that’s about it. So why Hardy? What’s the draw for Relativity? Taking the cynical perspective, inexperienced directors are easier to work with (because they’re less likely to resist studio interference), but in Hardy’s case, scoring the job could actually be about connections and knowing the right people.
Turns out that British wunderkind Edgar Wright (The World’s End) recommended Hardy to Edward R. Pressman, the producer on not only Alex Proya’s original 1994 film but the reboot as well. Whether Wright’s attaboy is the sole reason Hardy got the gig is another matter entirely; and frankly, it’s kind of irrelevant. For better or for worse, Hardy is directing The Crow. At the very least this means that the movie won’t (knock on wood) get tripped up any further leading into principal photography. Relativity should be breathing a sigh of relief.
To Hardy’s credit, what little work he has done fits into a specific aesthetic that falls somewhere between Gothic horror and dark fantasy. The Hallow sounds like a Straw Dogs riff filtered through the mind of Guillermo del Toro, and Butterfly (which can be watched below) is strangely beautiful; in that mix of styles and influences, Relativity might have made a very solid choice by betting on Hardy, but we’ll have to see what he comes up with when The Crow gets underway next year.
The Crow will begin shooting sometime in 2015.