"It's still early days on that," director Corin Hardy said when asked about his recent appointment as director of the upcoming reboot of The Crow. Though that may be true for Hardy, the project itself has been ongoing for so long that it's pretty discouraging to still hear descriptions of it being "early days."
Hardy is the fourth director to become attached to The Crow since Stephen Norrington first announced that he would write and direct a new adaptation of James O'Barr's graphic novel in 2008. Relativity Media has yet to set a release date and Luke Evans has dropped out due to the project's complete lack of forward momentum, which means that The Crow is currently without a lead actor. Bradley Cooper, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Wahlberg and Channing Tatum have all been in talks at various points in development, but like Evans each of them drifted away to join projects that actually seemed to be going somewhere.
One consistent advocate of the film is O'Barr himself, who was brought onboard as a consultant after F. Javier Gutiérrez (who was set to direct at the time) paid him a personal visit and talked him round to the idea of a new adaptation. Blastr reports that, speaking on a panel at Wizard World Madison Comic Con last week, O'Barr revealed that he had encouraged Gutiérrez to leave The Crow and move on to Paramount's reboot of The Ring, since he was aware that The Crow might never happen.
O'Barr was also apparently quite candid about the budget troubles that the film has faced, since after spending seven years in development the film will begin rolling (if it ever does) with a "$20 million debit." That's almost the entire budget of the original movie spent before a single frame has been shot.
Despite the many setbacks, O'Barr remains positive about The Crow's future and revealed that since Evans' departure his top pick for the lead is Being Human star Sam Witwer, with whom he has been in communication for some time. According to O'Barr, Witwer is eager to take the role - so much so that he promised to mow O'Barr's lawn for the rest of their lives if he got the chance to play vengeful rocker Eric Draven.
Although he's not as well known as Evans, Witwer has a respectable history as a TV actor with previous roles on shows like Dexter, Battlestar Galactica and Smallville. O'Barr said that Hardy, who recently made his feature directorial debut with horror movie The Hallow, still needs to be convinced that Witwer is the right choice, but The Crow's history suggests that having a decent lead attached won't necessarily be enough to get the wheels turning. Meanwhile, that debit isn't getting any smaller.
The Crow does not currently have a release date.