The reboot of the 1994 Brandon Lee-starring film/new adaptation of James O'Barr's graphic novel, The Crow, has been in the works for over three years. In the director's seat, Corin Hardy (The Hallow) recently took up the helm from F. Javier Gutierrez. As for the film's star, Eric Draven, James McAvoy (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Tom Hiddleston (Crimson Peak) were attached to star before Luke Evans (Dracula Untold) signed on.
However, Evans recently left The Crow and seems to have been replaced by Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire). O'Barr recently confirmed Huston's involvement while attending the Lexington Comic and Toy Convention. During O’Barr’s panel at the convention, The Crow creator called the reboot “a re-imagining” and revealed more information about the upcoming film, including another possible casting.
At O'Barr's panel (hat tip to Dread Central), he said his first choice for the role, Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), has been cast as Shelly: Eric's fiancee whose murder he seeks to avenge. However, while The Crow creator said Findlay has not officially signed on to the film, "it sounds like it's pretty much a sure thing." In the comic and previous Crow film Shelly was incorporated within the storyline through flashbacks.
As for the broader strokes of The Crow reboot, O'Barr said the film will be more of a direct retelling of his original comic story, calling it a "page-per-page adaptation, with all the visual metaphors.” The feature will differ from the 1994 Brandon Lee-starring The Crow in terms of tone - according to O'Barr it will be closer to Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver.
Additionally, O'Barr discussed Hardy's preference for practical effects over computer-generated imagery in films and stated that the crow that appears to Eric within the storyline will be included. O'Barr said that in the reboot, unlike the 1994 film, the bird will talk and may be animated through stop-motion reminiscent of the Brothers Quay.
Looking to the future of The Crow, O'Barr said he hopes this reboot will be successful and launch an expanded franchise. The creator said he’d like to see future films explore different characters instead of rehash storylines similar to that of Eric, such as the previous Crow series.
O’Barr also discussed the soundtrack for the upcoming reboot (which will include Joy Division, the band mentioned in the original comic, as well as songs by newer bands), the film’s shooting location (Belgium), and hinted at other parties interested in The Crow (an unnamed Game of Thrones actor). On the progress of the film, O’Barr said, “This is the first time in 3 years where I feel like this is actually going to happen and it's really, really going to be good."
From O’Barr’s comments, it seems that the upcoming film will differentiate itself from the 1994 feature and stick closer to the source material. That may disappoint fans of the Brandon Lee movie, but it further proves that Hardy is intending to create a Crow film that appeals more to readers of the comic.
However, Hardy and O’Barr may have trouble adapting certain aspects of The Crow, like the bird itself and the other visuals pulled directly from the book. While these elements, along with Huston and Findlay, could help to create a more faithful Crow adaptation, they also have the potential of not translating well.
That being said, The Crow is still very early on in pre-production and some of the ideas mentioned by O’Barr may not appear in the final film shown in theaters - or they may have changed. However, it seems The Crow is moving forward more steadily than before.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more information about The Crow as it becomes available.