Mark Wahlberg Offered Lead Role in ‘The Crow’ Reboot

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 11:30 pm,

the crow reboot mark wahlberg Mark Wahlberg Offered Lead Role in The Crow Reboot

Director Stephen Norrington’s reboot of The Crow has been making headlines for a couple of years now and despite reservations from the franchise’s fan base, it continues to gain momentum. Although its proposed summer start date came and went, the film has made a great deal of progress over the last few months.

Not only did we learn that Nick Cave would be rewriting Norrington’s script, but that an offer was about to go out to a “major star” for the lead role. Like many fans, I’ve waited apprehensively for news on that decision as it’s probably the most controversial and crucial aspect of this reboot.

Brandon Lee’s performance in the 1994 film isn’t just incredible – it’s also impossibly intertwined with the real-life tragedy that took place behind-the-scenes. That’s why fan outrage for a reboot of The Crow goes beyond mild annoyance. There are many who feel that the original film is in many ways Lee’s legacy and that the very notion of another actor playing Eric Draven is disrespectful.

I don’t know if I would take it that far, but the fact remains – Lee left some pretty big shoes to fill. Don’t believe me? Ask a Crow fan how they feel about the television series The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, which featured Marc Dacascos as Draven.

So Norrington and Co.’s  choice really has the power to make or break an audience’s perception of this project. Which is why I was hoping for something so much more promising than this. According to Bloody Disgusting, the role of Eric Draven in The Crow reboot has been offered to Mark Wahlberg.

I have nothing against Wahlberg as an actor. I know he takes a lot of criticism, but when he works with the right directors the results are phenomenal. Still, I’m having an incredibly difficult time imagining him in this part. It’s not just my adoration for Lee’s performance, either. From the moment I heard they were planning to reboot The Crow, the only thing I was able to take comfort in was that it didn’t sound like a remake of the 1994 movie so much as a different adaptation of the source material.

James O’ Barr’s graphic novel is an emotional gut punch brimming with rock n’ roll attitude and iconic imagery – it’s also considerably different from Alex Proyas’ film. So even if I ignore the previous movie and focus exclusively on the comic, Wahlberg still seems like the wrong choice.

There’s an aspect of the Draven character that’s distinctly feminine – and I’m not just talking about his appearance. It’s in his movement and personality as well. That’s not something I can see Wahlberg pulling off.

crow graphicnovel2 WIDE Mark Wahlberg Offered Lead Role in The Crow Reboot

Norrington has never made a great film, but he always struck me as a director who just hadn’t found the right material to work with yet. I thought at the very least he would deliver something completely different than Proyas’ version. I was also very receptive to the idea of Nick Cave being brought on board as I was a big fan of his script for The Proposition.

Hearing this news, though? All the good will I’d managed to build up towards The Crow reboot just evaporated.

However, the key word here is “offered.” Wahlberg hasn’t accepted yet, and with any luck he won’t. How do you feel about Mark Wahlberg potentially starring in The Crow? Who would you cast in the role?

Source: Bloody Disgusting.

TAGS: The crow
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    • How did the sequels “taint” Brandon’s work or work? That would be like saying ‘Batman 3′ will “taint” Ledger’s memory.

      • I actually love the concept of different people coming back- that had so much potential. I really think that would have worked if the sequels had dared to be a little bit more unique.

        • sorry Chris, this is one of the times i disagree with you :( no more films let alone a TV series should have been made.

          • Haha, that’s cool- but may I ask if you’ve read the anthology “Shattered Lives and Broken Dreams”? It’s pretty hit or miss but it really shows how many unique directions you could have taken this concept in. So do some of the other novels for that matter.

            A female crow, a wild west crow, a futuristic Blade Runner-style crow, a medieval crow… I think it would have seemed less disrespectful to Lee if they’d taken the basic concept and applied it to wildly different scenarios.

            Come to think of it, some of my favorite Crow comics are the ones that don’t feature Eric Draven. O’Barr was really just scratching the surface. Unfortunately, Hollywood never seemed that interested in digging any deeper.

          • Well in the comic/graphic novel it was a different person each time, but still brandon lee was the best. I like the second film cause it had a Deftones playing live in a scene :). But whalberg hmmm… still i agree with Chris on this, the different person idea is cool.

      • only if another Joker would be cast in it, think about it…

        • But you fail to answer HOW it would “taint” their memory. Actor’s are replaced ALL THE TIME. It’s nothing new. Should they never, ever use The Joker again b/c Ledger died? That’s just ridiculous.

          • @ Little Monster

            When a fan/fanboy likes a particular actor so much it’s hard for them to see pass their own nose and accept some one else being in the role, Before it was Jack Nicholson is tainting so and so, no one should play Joker because heath ledger is dead , which is absurd in itself to not recast a role because some one died, and so on and so forth. People like this will never give a sound reason that doesn’t have strong overtones of because they like/liked that actor so much in the particular role.

            As for Walhberg I don’t mind, as long as the story isnt crappy

            • The problem, I think, that most fans have with the recasting of Draven is that the whole project was low quality. The role of the Joker was treated with a certain reverence, in a way, by having a director and a budget in addition to a great performance. If the studio behind the reboot makes a serious effort to bring in a talented crew and cast and end up with a quality product, I don’t think anyone is going to b**** about it. However, using the publicity that Lee’s death has created for the franchise in order to make cheap crap is a disservice to his memory.

              Walhberg = fail for this role. Levitt might work, would Adrien Brody be a good fit?

              • @ Big Ned

                I can’t see levitt in the role, um it’s called THE CROW not THE NOSE, so no brody ( i dont have anythign against brody personally, but that dag blasted nose…) :P. I’d prefer some one with martial arts skills , but that’s just me, at least walhberg has a small amount of that and can dish out a beat down when need be.

                • on second thought if they called it THE BEAK, then it’s a go for Brody

                  • @SIN187UM – The reason I thought of Brody is that the character of Eric Draven is a musician and artist first, and avenging spirit second, at least if they are being truer to the graphic novel as has been suggested. While I haven’t seen Predators yet, it looks from the trailers like Brody might also have some decent action chops. Who’d have figured Matt Damon would have made such a convincing badass as Jason Bourne?

                    • @ Big Ned

                      Predators was decent, like I said I have nothing against Brody as an actor, just his nose, but I don’t think he is right for the Crow, I don’t remember any of the crow movies having a piano player dispatch revenge justice. I figured Damon would be able to pull it off.

        • Eric Draven was only cast again in the series, which I thought was crap. What no one seems to realize is the main character in The Crow is the crow. The crow brings back those who need to set things right in order to rest. That’s what the books were about. That said, I didn’t like City Of Angels or Wicked Prayer. I did think that Salvation was decent though. I’d like it if they didn’t use the Draven character in this movie but I know everyone lacks the imagination to come up with something original.

  1. their remaking the crow? O-o? NOOOOO! there going to ruin another one of my favorite moives!!!!

  2. i’m against almost any remake theyre making.


    if they have to do another Crow movie, Mark Wahlbergs name wouldnt even come up if i thought of possible candidates.

    i’d much rather see someone younger and less know for the role. When Brandon Lee originated the part, he was cast at 27. If Wahlberg were to start tomarow, he’d be 39.

    i’m not gonna debate whether he’s a good actor or not, i’m just saying he’s already defined himself and he’s just not right for the part.

    thats if they do decide to go with the movie. as a fan of the original i’m against the remake.

  3. Even though I loved the first film (in the 90s), I think it has lost against the test of time. Its long term failure is because of the generational music, death of Brandon Lee, and other movies have done it better.

    Mark Wahlberg will bring a great change. Go Wahlberg!

    Brandon Lee’s “Crow” stinks to high hell now.

    • Mark Wahlberg ‘would’ bring a great change.

    • It is impossible for me to disagree with you more, so perhaps you could anser these questions for me. I am curious how a fan of the movie upon its release could reach these conclusions:

      1. The music. What I liked most about the soundtrack was the way the music was interwoven with the script and the action. It wasn’t just a good album (that I happen to have fired up on iTunes yesterday), it was integral to the storytelling of the film. How has time changed that? Have the songs just been overplayed for you since then?

      2. WTFWTFWTF. How on earth has the death of Brandon Lee affected the quality of the movie over time? Has his performance changed somehow? I don’t get that at all.

      3. Please define for me the “it” that has been done better and name one film that you think has accomplished this. If you say Twilight, you fail.

      • @ BigNed,

        (1) The Music: Majority of the movie’s soundtrack is from the 1990s. If they used a more instrumental approach to music, the movie could have been a timeless piece. Other words, the current is now stuck in the 90s.

        (2) Brandon Lee’s Death: Since the character Eric Draven was essential for parts two and three, the death of the actor prevented the writers from making the first movie into a trilogy. As a result of losing an essential character due to the actor’s death, they were forced to create standalone movies. What would have happened if they recasted the main character for parts two and three? People would have protested earlier.

        (3) Since the release of the original “the Crow”, many, many, many, many other moves have done the whole immortal damned, tragedy, revenge, and Eger Allen Poe with much more success. Example: “Underworld I, II, and III” makes “The Crow” look like a BIG joke. “Batman: Begins” and “Batman: The Dark Knight” has got the revenge and Poe angle down with perfection. All Batman is missing is the immortality.

        “The Crow” is a very dated piece, which looks very primitive compared to the latest movies. It needs to shake off Brandon Lee’s death, so it can get back to it’s comic-book roots. Mark Wahlberg would be a great actor for bring this franchise into the new millennium.

        “Max Payne” has prepared Mark Wahlberg for the part of Brandon Lee. Perfect match.

        • @Marcus, thanks for your reply.

          1) Does the Breakfast Club being stuck in the 80′s keep it from gaining new fans and remaining popular? This one’s a little tough because I think it is partly a matter of taste. If you feel those songs are “dated” then you may think that adversely affects the film. Personally, I think most of the songs are just good, quality songs that I still like to listen to. I can understand your point, but I think it reflects your personal preference more than it stands as an objective argument.

          Here is another example – Back to the Future. The clothing, soundtrack and timeline (esp. the vision of 2015) plant that movie firmly in the 80′s, would you say that it’s also dated and stinks to high hell? If you were mentioning stop-motion effects or other technological aspects that now look dated I could agree with you more, but just because a film reflects the time in which it was made, for me doesn’t make it irrelevant later on.

          2) I can see your point there as it relates to the franchise but I don’t agree that this has somehow affected the quality of the original film over time.

          3) I guess we just like very, very different things when it comes to movies. IMHO, the Underworld films aren’t even close to the quality of The Crow in terms of directing, script, acting, ambience and emotional impact. Are they prettier? Maybe. (Certainly the parts with Kate Beckinsale are…) Are the effects better? In some parts, in others the CG is very cludgy and detracts from the film. Ask any Star Wars fan which series of films they think stand the test of time better. Having a sleeker finish doesn’t, at least to me, mean that you’ve improved on the original.

          Also, apart from taking place mostly at night, these films have very little in common. The Crow, while containing a lot of action scenes, is a drama at its core. The focus of the story is the motivation of the people involved. UW is over-the-top blockbuster eye candy with very little depth of characterization and almost no attempt to connect the audience to the protagonists via anything other than sex appeal. So you’re comparing apples to oranges.

          As for the Poe/revenge side of things, I am not sure that the Nolan Batman movies really touch on those themes at all. Sure revenge is a basic part of the character of Bruce Wayne, but the stories of the films were more about identity (Batman Begins) and insanity (Dark Knight) than revenge. As much as I enjoy the most recent iterations of Batman, I don’t think that Nolan and Proyas were trying to tell the same type of story and certainly weren’t trying to tell it the same way so to say that Batman has done it better is again an apples to oranges comparison for me.

          4) Max Payne as prep for The Crow. How so? How are the cop character of Payne and musician character of Draven even remotely similar? Because they are both somewhat supernatural in nature? That’s like saying that playing the role of Loki is perfect preparation for the role of Zeus. These two personalities are nothing alike, even if they are gods.

          • Sweet expo, I like that. ;-)

        • As a 20 year-old who collects records and doesn’t listen to ANYTHING that came out after the 1970′s, I just can’t get behind your point. Is Goodfellas dated for including 60′s and 70′s rock?

          The music attached to The Crow is essential to the tone of the film. I’m not even really fond of it (other than that Cure song…that was amazing), but it really works for the film.

  4. Ow no I luv the dude but no definitly not They can both do better
    …Also the sequels were horrible as was the t.v show lolzer to the crow 4 Edawrd Emo Furlong & Dennis Wigger Hopper you guy’s really really screwed the pooch on that one

    Dont remake it just let it die

  5. Everytime you see James O’Barr in a “Crow” commentary or documentary, he is alway crying about the reasons why people should love his movies. It is very pathetic.

  6. I love Mark Wahlberg so much and he’s my favorite actor,which is why I was searching his name on google and came across this website, but just from looking at that picture above alone, it doesn’t seem like he would be good in this role, but I would love to see him try. If he’s bad it’ll probably be funny.

    • How hard can it be to play an immortal?

  7. Dear god now

    I like wahlberg but he is just WRONG for this role

    Plus, I’ll never forgive him for blatantly not researching his role in Max Payne at all. That was just an a hole thing to do.

    The crow is not supposed to look like some jock. Dark, gothic, mysterious, etc. None of these things describe wahlberg.

  8. I’d rather be interested in seeing Stuart Townsend or even Johnny Depp play this role. Townsend has played as a rock star before(as the vampire Lestat in “Queen of the Damned”) and a diabolical fop in “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” Well, you could Depp out since he’s awfully stereotyped as Jack Sparrow these days. Heath Ledger would probably have put something new into the role had he still walked among us. As for Wahlberg, I’d rather see him in a “Shooter” sequel. A shame though that his involvement in “Max Payne” didn’t quite live up to most of our expectations.

  9. dude walberg in the crow? what are these people smokin?

  10. I for one think Brandon Lee’s performance as the crow was phenominal and they shouldn’t be rebooting the first was really awesome I for one will not be watchin this no matter who they get for the role of Draven

    • “I for one will not be watchin this no matter who they get for the role of Draven” ~ Vader

      That is a good reason to reboot this franchise. Originaly, “The Crow” was going to be a three parter. Since the main actor died, the whole trilogy concept died with him. We lost out on seeing the whole story; thus, we only saw part one to a three part series.

      Second, even though I enjoyed Brandon Lee’s contribution, I don’t think an entire franchise should suffer from his death.

  11. I wonder if Brandon Lee would appreciate people saying The Crow is “his legacy”. I imagine he would be the type who’d be happy to someone else take the role Eric Draven rather than the “that’s my role” type but who knows.

    All in all, bring on the reboot, even though I doubt it will have the impact on pop culture today that it did in 1994 (even if the original’s impact is debatable).

    Then again, Mark Walberg? Really?
    How about Brandon Routh since he’s less than likely to be Superman again (bring some of that angst to the role) – j/k of course

    One good thing about the Walberg news is that at least they aren’t going with a younger 20-something lead

  12. As a one shot it was an interesting premise but as a moviegoer I’m not much for avenging spirit movies, especially one that grinds the trope into the ground. Why can’t the author of this work and others like it just move on already? Want to make another, then rewrite the premise again! Put some really profound mystery into it, instead of using it as a pyrotechnic excuse to flail dead bodies around.

  13. Wahlberg? COME ON!

    They need someone who can strut like Mick Jagger, yet be as menacing as Ledger’s Joker. Wahlberg could do neither.

  14. This is me desperately grasping to be positive. When I first heard Heath Ledger was playing the joker I was furious. I thought he wasn’t a good enough actor. I was way wrong. Maybe Walberg can bring a surprise?

    • Agree totally …

  15. Who ever they get to play in this needs to be able to pull of a dark gritty goth like presence. I don’t think Whalberg ar a lot of actors these days can fit this role.

  16. There’s something about Wahlberg that doesn’t quite fit the role. In my opinion, I think either Hayden Christensen or Joseph Gordon-Levitt should have been offered the role. I’m sure both of them can pull it off.

  17. All I can say is NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO aaaaaaaaah you get the point

  18. Strange choice, The Crow doesn’t need a reboot and really, Mark Wahlberg, Although he does have the ability to occasionally suprise I do think its a bad choice. Still I could just watch the Original and pretend this isn’t happening. #Jim Hayden Christensen should be in nothing ever but Joseph Gordon-Levitt I can totally see

  19. Mark Wahlberg is one of those few actors that has gone from being subpar to good in my opinion over the years. He’s delivered some really good performances in the last ten years. I can only think of one role that I didn’t like him in lately, being the lead in Max Payne. The entire movie was a pissing on the original story and game. So it has happaned before that he’s been miscast.

    • The Happening ring a bell? Or did you strike it from your memory as I have TRIED to do.

      • Every actor has some not so good roles. He has been doing very good overall.

  20. I would cast no one. I would prefer for this project to be shelved.

    For one, I will not deny that I am one of those who feel that Proya’s film and Lee’s performance need neither a “reboot” nor any kind of improvement–and this even with my never being all that wild with some of the changes Proyas made to the comic [notably yet another rooftop battle finale, which came thick and heavy in the 90s].

    Secondly, I am now more than a bit tired of words like “remake” and “reboot” and “sequel” and “franchise.” Half the stuff on ScreenRant’s main news page is a remake or sequel of some sort. Haven’t we had enough? Doesn’t anybody have any original ideas left? What, did somebody decide the first ‘Crow’ movie wasn’t “dark” enough? And if they did, who seriously thought Wahlberg was the right choice for a story like ‘The Crow’? Not to typecast the man, but he doesn’t exactly make me think “Goth Rock.” If he IS chosen, this has the potential to be an embarrassment for him, and a letdown for the ‘Crow’ fans.

    • Totally agree 100 percent. Seriously, The Crow has had two full feature movies, and a low budget third film starring Kirsten Dunst and a guy that kind of looks like Wahlberg more than he does Brandon Lee. Also a german TV series. The first one starring Brandon Lee has not been equaled (even though I thought Vincent Perez did a good job in City of Angels).

      It’s a shame that a production company like Edward R. Pressman films just doesn’t know when to stop to preserve the integrity of the character and his origins. I also think Wahlberg’s career is in decline. The only thing that’s keeping him relevant right now is Entourage.

      • “The Crow” (Theatrical Movie)
        “The Crow: City of Angels” (Theatrical Movie)
        “The Crow: Salvation” (Theatrical Movie)
        “The Crow: Wicked Prayer” (Direct to DVD Movie)

        “The Crow: Stairway to Heaven” (Tv-Series)

        Four movies and one series.

  21. I don’t know who it should be. Just not Mark. I like Mark, but he doesn’t fit this role. I do like that they are starting a new series, I just don’t think they can capture the magic of the first one. That movie all the way down to the soundtrack was awesome. And that soundtrack rates at #2 on my all time favorite soundtracks. Right under Pulp Fiction of course.

  22. I like Mark but this is not for him.

  23. I don’t know. I can’t help but actually kind of like this news. If there were going to be a remake of one of my all-time favorite movies, then I would like a good actor in it. I like Mark Wahlberg and I think he is extremely underrated.

    Personally, I think they should have gone in the unknown actor direction for this, but I can see the transformation for Wahlberg. It could be a good casting like Ledger in The Dark Knight, or a horrible miscast like Arnold in Batman & Robin. Lol

    • Since the source material includes different characters getting The Crow’s power I don’t really see that you have to put the lead character in a mold that equals Draven’s (Lee’s) performance or look. To me that just seems like a fan favorite tone to bring to the property. Which really seems to be a great part of its appeal. That being the case Wahlberg would really have to work to come near to that kind of mold or tone. Like most are saying given what people like and expect he’s not right for the part. He’s playing against type. However if the producers are looking to shift the tone some then I could see why they would range further afield to consider Wahlberg. I still think it won’t be popular and perhaps unsuccessful although technically it potentially has nothing wrong with it…

  24. Wahlberg umm no, I think he has the chops but not the look further more he definitely doesn’t give off the vibe and lastly his voice has to be least intimidating I’ve ever heard. When I think of the Crow I think of dark an ominous. Here’s a thought how about Adrian Grennier from Entourage? I think he would do a great job. Plus Wahlberg produces that show lol.

  25. I don’t see Mark Wahlberg taking the role. I go 50/50 on Top Dollar maybe, but not Eric Draven.

    I have said this a million times: take away the supernaturalout of The Crow and all you got is another revenge movie. Revenge movies don’t work in general; there is nothing much at stake other than payback.

    While Norrington HAS made one decent movie -the first “Blade” was bad@$$ and I’ll admit to liking at least ten minutes of Death Machine – I’m not too thrilled with a Crow redo, aside from a possible direct adaptation of the source.

    ‘The Crow’ is one-note. Brandon Lee’s performance (and eerie coincidence of the character and story) moved it up by one or two. The sequels captured the problem of the formula regardless of who was cast (altthough Vincent Perez had his moments) and while the TV series cliffhanged on a interesting twist, I also didn’t buy “Daytime Crow’ either, regardless of some of the quality of production.

    Also, The Crow may be a cool character and all- but how many comics character movies did we have in the early 90s as opposed to now?

    It’s not that I’m against this remake-reboot. I’m really not. I’m just pointing out the uphill battle this project is facing.

  26. At first, I don’t think Mark W is the right choice. I think he’s talented and has certainly improved a great deal over the years but I’m having trouble seeing him play Draven.

    That said, I also had a hell of a time accepting Heath Ledger as the Joker when I first heard about it. I’m not saying Mark W will be another Heath Ledger in this role, should he accept it, but history tells us that breath taking performances can happen from actors being put in seemingly unlikely roles.

  27. Walhberg isn’t even a factor for me right now

    The fact that this movie is gettign made – THAT is the problem.

    NO with a capital F no

    • Here is the problem. After the first movie’s success, the second movie ended up killing the franchise. Everyone who followed after the second movie was considered a cult following. As the franchise stumbled to reestablish itself (movie 3 & 4), the remaining fan-base ended up leaving the franchise to die off.

      Almost no one knows about the existence of “The Crow: Wicked Prayer”.


      Technically, the overall success of “The Crow” was due to a famous actor dying. It had nothing to do with quality. “Batman: the Dark Knight” may also be in a similar situation. Brandon Lee and Heath Ledger’s death were the only reasons why both movies accumulated so much wealth. It had nothing to do with story.

      So, how can a franchise similar to “The Crow” survive without fans? It cannot. It would be a dead franchise.

      Technically, they have no choice but to do a reboot, so they can shake off anything connected to ‘death’.

      • Marcus you’re DEAD WRONG about the quality of Crow (and Batman 3)

        That’s a really narrow minded way to look at things.

        It’s like saying Nirvana became so successful was because Kurt Cobain died or Def Leppard was successful because their drummer lost an arm. Controversy does not equal quality (although it can make up for it sometimes).

      • @”Technically, the overall success of “The Crow” was due to a famous actor dying. It had nothing to do with quality. “Batman: the Dark Knight” may also be in a similar situation. Brandon Lee and Heath Ledger’s death were the only reasons why both movies accumulated so much wealth. It had nothing to do with story.”

        If so, then how come Michael Jackson’s (who’s incredibly more popular and famous than Ledger and Brandon Lee) ‘This Is It’ didn’t make a billion dollars? Bernie Mac’s (again more famous than Ledger) last film ‘Soul Men’ didn’t make nearly that much either. Those who think TDK only made it’s money b/c of Legder’s passing are IGNORANT.

        TDK and The Crow are just very well made films, that GREAT stories.

        • Little Monster,

          Hint: You just compared a child molester to two morally sound actors.

          • You do realize there’s more evidence that supports that he’s inocent right? There’s a tape where the accuser’s father ADMITS they were scamming money out of Jackson. Look it up.