‘The Crow’ Reboot Will Be Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 10:23 pm,

It’s been a slow crawl out of development hell for Relativity Media’s reboot of The Crow franchise. Plans have been in place to breathe new life into the series since 2007, but a succession of creative and logistical roadblocks have unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you feel about it) kept the project grounded.

The most recent blow dealt to The Crow reboot occurred in October when Stephen Norrington vacated the director’s chair. After spending several years working on the film, Norrington revealed that he had refused to make certain changes to the most recent draft of the script by Nick Cave. Those changes were evidently demanded by a potential lead actor – who may or may not have been Mark Wahlberg. Either way, Norrington’s exit sent the production back to square one.

A few months later, there were rumors that Spanish filmmakers Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) and F. Javier Gutiérrez (Before the Fall) were both being considered for the gig. Of the two, I was a little bit more interested in what type of Crow film Fresnadillo would deliver – and now it looks I’ll get to find out.

Relativity has announced that Fresnadillo has officially signed on to helm their reboot of The Crow. It’s unclear how many of Norrington’s ideas might ultimately carry over into this new iteration, but they’re apparently tossing out previous versions of the script. A new writer will be hired to work closely with Fresnadillo on a fresh approach to the material.

Producer Edward R. Pressman believes that with Fresnadillo’s involvement, The Crow reboot will live up to the reputation of the 1994 original:

“The original Crow was groundbreaking cinema; its gothic visual and musical ideas influenced a generation and cinema itself. With Juan Carlos, we have every confidence that his new Crow will have a similar impact on the contemporary audience.”

Based on James O’ Barr’s popular graphic novel, the original Crow established itself as a critical & commercial success despite a well-publicized on-set accident that claimed the life of star Brandon Lee. Lee’s death added further layers of irony & tragedy to the film and his performance helped The Crow earn a legion of devoted fans.

the crow reboot The Crow Reboot Will Be Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

Recognizing how beloved Lee was in the role of Eric Draven, the filmmakers chose to highlight new protagonists with subsequent entries in the franchise.  The quality and popularity of The Crow‘s sequels diminished considerably with each installment (the most recent currently holds a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) so I suppose it was only a matter of time before the word “reboot” started getting tossed around.

A 1998 television series proved that fans aren’t totally resistant to the idea of a new actor playing Draven, but I think their understanding probably had more to do with the fact that the story was being presented in a different medium.

Alex Proyas’ 1994 adaptation of The Crow is often credited as one of the best examples of a comic-to-film translation, but it actually makes significant deviations from O’ Barr’s original work. I’m not crazy about the reboot myself, but I still believe there’s enough unused material from the comic to justify a wildly different approach to the story.

28 Weeks Later may not have been as good as 28 Days Later, but I found more than a few of Fresnadillo’s visuals striking and memorable. If nothing else, it seems likely that The Crow reboot will at least boast the same visual panache as its predecessors.

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    • ^^^^^
      Thats what I said about the Highlander reboot. Lol…

  2. Though Brandon Lee has been the best example of the Crow in the franchise to date, I feel that this could still be good.

  3. R.I.P Brandon Lee.

  4. These are some big shoes to fill and while I like Mark Wahlberg he is not right for this Genre. While I hated all of the sequels past number 2 I am open to them rebooting the original. This coming from a MAJOR Crow fan, but it will take a lot to make it even come close to the original.

    • Some very big shoes to fill. The Crow was that perfect role for Brandon Lee. You know, it’s just one of those roles that our meant for a certain actor. Like Ryan Reynolds for Deadpool, it’s just spot on.

      It can be done though, if done right.

      • …I mean “are” not “our”…my bad

  5. If there any Crow fans that haven’t read Bridget Baiss’ book The Crow: The Story Behind the Film, it’s a really fascinating look at the development & production of the movie as well as a detailed account of the aftermath of Lee’s death.

    What’s interesting is how much of The Crow was shaped AFTER the accident. I’d previously heard that they’d re-shot some scenes with the stunt double and had to alter some aspects of the script, but it was a lot more significant than that. I don’t want to say it would have been an inferior film had production progressed the way it was supposed to, because we’ll never really know – but it would have been so incredibly different.

    Where the movie suffered the most was the Eric/Shelly relationship. Many of the cast & crew have expressed that the story would have benefited from more flashbacks (which of course they weren’t able to shoot) and I have to agree. The film still works and Lee definitely sells all the important moments, but they apparently intended to do quite a bit more and I think that shows.

    However, Sarah’s role was beefed up considerably and her relationship with Eric & Albrecht became so important to the film. I also think the decision to ditch some of the more overt-supernatural elements was a wise one. The finished film is leaner & meaner than it might have been otherwise.

    Anyways, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s interesting and heartbreaking and clears up a lot of misconceptions. I’ve owned the book for almost a decade and I’ve re-read it several times.

    What made me think of it was the fact that Lee was signed on for three Crow films. Had he survived, they would have found ways to bring Draven back for the sequels. As obvious as it seems to us fans now, the notion of the crow bringing back other souls was another decision made because of Lee’s death.

    It’ll be interesting to see which direction they go if the reboot is successful and they start discussing more sequels. I still think new stories with each installment is the better decision, but they really need to open up this universe and explore different settings, circumstances, and characters. If they didn’t learn from their previous mistakes (making superficial changes, but keeping the same iconography and story beats as the original), it’s going to suffer the same consequences I think.

    Whew. I have just rambled on extensively. I could probably keep going, but I think that’s enough for now. =-)

  6. To be all honest…

    I have not seen the original movie in years, and it is all due to it soundtrack. If they used an orchestra in the first place, “The Crow” would not be stuck in the 90s. I think that was its only flaw.

    • Damn it! My spelling stinks today.

      Fixed:: I have not seen the original movie in years, and it is all due “The Crow’s” soundtrack. If they used an orchestra in the first place, “The Crow” would not be stuck in the 90s. I think that was its only flaw.

  7. Amem!!!

    • i don’t know what happened that “Amen” was in response to to d-man’s R.I.P. Brandon Lee.

      @ Marcus. The Crow’s soundtrack added another layer to the dark tone of the movie. If they did use an orchestra, it would have sounded like they had ripped off Tim Burton’s two Batman movies that came out before it.

  8. The soundtrack was great. Still listen to some of the songs from it.

    • I agree I thought the soundtrack was sweet. It went with the tone of the movie and the atmosphere of the characters. Eric Draven was a guitarist for a rock band or something like that or maybe they lead vocalist.

      Whatever, all I know is that the film’s community and mood had a dark metal/rock tone to it and the music represented that. In my opinion. By the way, I love the song by The Cure from that soundtrack.

      • Eric played the guitar in the movie. There was a scene in the movie were he was up on the roof of his apartment building playing it.

        d-man the Cure song from the movie was Burn…Anyway, I have give some love to my band STP and their song Big Empty.

  9. God would they just DROP this already

    As for the soundtrack –
    ???? Graeme Revell’s amazing score to the movie? Hello?

  10. This is funny in that just two days ago I and my sister were talking about the Crow movies and just how terrible the ones after the original were. We never understood how no one was able to do a good job with The Crow. And after seeing who has signed on to direct I am not getting a good feeling at all about a new Crow. What is the problem? The ones after the original just stunk! Lousy acting, sorry scripts, pathetic visuals…. I just don’t understand how in this day they could get it so wrong!

    • For all of its faults, I actually thought City of Angels was photographed beautifully.

      Unfortunately, that film sort of established a pattern for the rest of the sequels when the producers re-cut it to follow the same structure of the original. COA was designed to be a very different film and after one less than stellar test screening, they freaked out and did everything they could to make it more like the first movie.

      The original version still wasn’t a great movie, but it was unique and had what might have gone down as the best ending in the entire Crow franchise.

      • see that was there initial problem they tried to resemble the first crow. it was the drast change of story lines and trying to put in sara in the second one. then they screwed it up in three and four. still resistant to watch four. though you get the point. this could be a great film if they would write a script from the comic book then had james o’barr read it a make his changes then filmed it that way. though really marky mark. i would use some one that doesnt look like they just came out of the gym. oh sorry chris.the asspect your writting of are quite interesting. the way the first grew popularity was because of the death of brandon lee. it’s like the legand’s of music. they all died at an early age. though we see them as legands for the fact they died leaving us the last thing we known at the time to be astounding to there work. so yes sad of the death of brandon lee. though they can do this. i hope. though i hope they create a story that flows to a series of movies with the director of the choice. and not swap out the feel of the first remake. thats what kills it. like the first, and for the soundtrack. if they used a culture of industrial rock. dark ton with the symphany and leave the rap out of it completly. then we have stellar album. sorry to post so long post’s though this is my thought’s.

  11. What was the ending, Chris?

  12. *Spoilers Ahead for anyone who hasn’t seen COA*

    In the theatrical cut, before Ash confronts Judah, his dead son appears to him and says that his mission has been completed and if Ash doesn’t come with him they’ll never be together. Ash goes to save Sarah anyways, she’s killed, and the final shot implies that he’s been reunited with his son regardless. No real weight to Sarah’s death because it’s possible that her and Ash both wind up in the land of the dead together anyways. Either way – they use what was supposed to be a regular flashback of Ash and his son and strongly imply that it’s them reuniting in the land of the dead (which is the opposite of what they did with the original Crow where they took a shot of Eric & Shelly reuniting in heaven and used it as a general flashback instead, believing that whatever waits for us after this life should remain a mystery).

    Now In the original version of COA, Ashe’s son warns him that he can’t interfere with elements outside of his original mission. This is also derived from a subplot that was dropped from the original film that explained why Eric wraps himself in electric tape. Interfering with Darla was not part of his mission, thus leaving him vulnerable when Funboy jumped out of the shower and attacked him the dropped razor. Those wounds didn’t heal because Eric had strayed from his intended path. The same thing would have happened at the end when he decided to rescue Sarah from Top Dollar (it’s always Sarah’s fault!). Obviously that was all cut, the tape shows up for no reason, and Eric now loses his powers when the actual crow is injured.

    So anyways, Ashe’s son makes it clear that if Ash doesn’t return to the land of the dead at that moment, he’ll never be allowed to. The same basic set-up as the theatrical cut. But the consequences are made clearer, which makes it more agonizing for Ash to choose to save Sarah because he’s giving up the chance to reunite with his son in order to stay on earth and live happily ever after with Sarah. Of course, the irony is that she’s killed. But Ashe is now no longer living or dead. He’s in limbo between two worlds, cursed to wander the earth alone for all of eternity.

    There’s a third (and slightly condensed) version of this ending in the “Director’s Cut” but it’s not quite the same.

    The problem with COA is that while it was an interesting idea to have Ash fall in love with Sarah and be torn between two worlds, the film never really devotes enough time to their relationship to make that work as well as it could. Still, that ending is a gut punch and so different from the way the other films wrap up. Like I said before, it probably never would have been a great film but its original intentions were far more clever and unique than the movie we wound up with.

  13. If they cast Mark Wahlberg as Eric Draven I’ll probably see this one but I’m not too thrilled about Fresnadillo

  14. I don’t think Wahlberg has the right look to match the makeup. It will look weird. Just as bad as Edward Furlong who looked very girly. I laughed so hard and was equally frustated at where the franchise had truely gone when I saw that. Whoever plays the character must look right in the make up.
    COA had great visuals and the guy definitely looked the part even though the acting and pacing of the story was off. If they can combine the great visuals of the first two movies and a great story like the first one this could be a great movie. Could be…

  15. IF they’re going to reboot the Erick Draven story they have to be more faithfull with the O’Barr’s graphic novel. Meaning the punk hair and chains, setting the story into mid 90’s. They dont have to look for a Brandon Lee look alike, make a “R” movie, ECT. The more faithfull to O’Barr’s visuals, the better.

  16. i think they should leave te first one a lone fed up with the remakes of films if your running out of ideas go to the books no one will ever replace brandon lee if your going to make ao ther crow do a 5th one but plz leave the the first film a lone it was for brandon lee and eliza and no one will ever take that away me for one will not be buying it if u remake the first crow i have 4 of them as i lvoe the films but brandon lee was the best out the lot if your going to do a other do a 5th crow and ask johnny depp would be nice to see him as a crow x

  17. Im not looking for any writer rights but I have a very good storyline that will sell for sure.

    A marine comes home to Los Angeles from a deployment, and not long after coming home is murdered with his wife and child. They are killed off by Mexican Cartels because the wife’s brother had bad business with them and they’re the payback.That Marine comes back when he’s revived by the “crow” and hunts for the killers all through la and parts of Mexico.

    It can be a kickass movie