Whenever remakes of classic or well-loved films get put in development, the cast and production team often have to spend a lot of time defending the very concept of the remake and making promises not to infringe on what has gone before. Such is the case with F. Javier Gutiérrez's upcoming version of The Crow, a particularly sensitive property to return to as lead actor Brandon Lee died during the filming of the 1994 original.
Several actors have circled or been rumored for the role of resurrected rock star Eric Draven during The Crow's long development cycle, but The Hobbit actor Luke Evans was the only one that stuck. As The Crow heads into pre-production, Evans has been fielding questions about the remake.
The Crow is actually better described as a reboot than a remake, since it's a new version of the original story (as opposed to yet another sequel) based on the 1989 graphic novel by James O'Barr. O'Barr himself is involved in the making of the reboot, and in an interview with RCN TV, Evans has explained that the new film will go right back to the source material.
"Well, we just want to be as authentic and loyal to the original comic as possible, and that means the story will be different. It'll be different from what people are expecting. It's not about us ripping off the Brandon Lee movie, that stands alone as a brilliant piece of cult film and a great performance, but we're going back to the book, the original book. And that's exciting because we're bringing to the screen a lot of parts of the story that were never really told. So yeah, it's our chance to do it, to do it differently, but to be as loyal and respectful of the original storyline as we possibly can."
Aside from Evans, there is very little known for sure about The Crow's casting. The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus was rumored to be the top choice for a supporting role, but it's unclear how likely he is to take the part or even who he would be playing. There have been multiple iterations of the script, but the (current) final version was written by Warrior screenwriter Cliff Dorfman.
Evans definitely looks well-suited to the part of Eric, though we'll have to wait to see him in costume in order to properly visualize it. When asked about The Crow's iconic make-up and outfit, the actor admitted that he hasn't been thinking much about that aspect of the role yet, and is instead fully engaged in preparing for the role physically.
Going back to the original comics and starting fresh does sound like the best possible approach to making The Crow. As always, however, it's best to hold off on any real judgement until we get to see a trailer.
The Crow doesn't yet have a release date, but we'll keep you updated as production continues.