Graphic artist James O'Barr is undoubtedly best known as the creator of The Crow, a series of comic books about a rock and roll star called Eric Draven who is killed along with his fiancée, Shelly, by a gang of street thugs, only to later be resurrected in order to take his revenge. The comic books - and the 1994 film adaptation of them - have become a cult-favorite among fans of horror and the gothic.
The long-planned reboot of the franchise has seen a revolving door of talent, with Mark Wahlberg, Bradley Cooper, James McAvoy, Channing Tatum and Alexander Skårsgard all tied at different levels to the leading role, at one point or another (Immortals star Luke Evans is currently signed on to play Eric Draven). Directors Stephen Norrington (Blade) and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) were both attached for significant periods of time before the task was finally handed to F. Javier Gutiérrez (Before the Fall). That's to say nothing of the script, which in years of development hell has undergone multiple permutations from a range of different screenwriters.
The gears on the reboot of The Crow have been grinding slowly, and many fans of the original film have been less than enthusiastic about the prospect of it. All that may change, however, as O'Barr has made a statement to Variety revealing that he will be working on the film as a consultant:
“It is important for ‘Crow’ fans to understand that Relativity, Javier, Luke and the entire team are working on a new adaptation of the book itself. I believe that this movie will stand alongside Brandon and his film as a valid work of art, and I look forward to collaborating on the project.”
O'Barr's decision to become involved with the making of The Crow reboot will no doubt give fans slightly more confidence in the film, especially since not everyone responsible for bringing the character to fame has responded so well. Alex Proyas, the director of the 1994 adaptation of The Crow, has shown no interest in being involved with any of the other works based on the graphic novel, and has decried the notion of remaking it as "ridiculous" and "premature," since he believes The Crow is "Brandon Lee's movie." Lee was the actor who originally portrayed Eric Draven in The Crow, and sadly died of a gunshot wound during the making of the film.
There are already a significant number of entries in the Crow franchise, including three sequels to the original film and a television series called The Crow: Stairway to Heaven. It sounds like Relativity Media is planning to turn over a new page and start again with The Crow, rather than trying to emulate any of the previous films, so it will be interesting to see what Gutiérrez and Evans can come up with, now that O'Barr is onboard.
Does this news make you feel a little more enthusiastic about The Crow, or do you agree with Proyas' argument that it's still too early for a reboot?
The Crow doesn't have a release date yet, but it seems to finally be on the move. We'll keep you posted on any further details.