Although it didn't exactly set the box office on fire, Alex Proyas' 1994 take on The Crow earned more than twice its budget during its theatrical run, and even 20 years later, the film remains a cult favorite. Despite its devoted fanbase, however, the in-development reboot of the franchise - which includes four films in total as well as a shortlived television series - has hit several bumps on its way to production.
The film just lost star Luke Evans, who had long been attached in the lead role. The news was expected, as Evans' busy schedule and The Crow's delayed production (which was once set to begin this spring) recently led the actor to announce his likely departure from the project. This new development now leaves director Corin Hardy without a star, though it does sound like he remains keen to bring his vision of The Crow to audiences.
Fangoria recently caught up with Hardy at the Sundance Film Festival - where the director's horror film The Hallow is premiering - for details on his approach to relaunching The Crow franchise. Here's what he had to say:
"It’s still early days on that, but what I can say for now is that I’m a huge, huge fan of both the first film and James O’Barr’s graphic novel. I was obsessed with 'The Crow' when I was growing up. When I heard about the remake, what I thought could be very interesting today, 20 years later, especially with this whole Marvel Universe that’s happened, is that the Crow always stood as an outsider to me. I kind of felt he would be the right character for me if I got the chance to do it. And now that I have gotten the chance to do it, I’m very much going back to the graphic novel, particularly looking into the illustrations themselves as much as the story, and picking out all those beautiful ideas and details that haven’t really been used yet."
Hardy's comments regarding the use of fresh material from the comics echo what we've heard from Evans in the past, and his mention of The Crow's darker breed of hero completely supports producer Ed Pressman's claim that the character is essentially "the anti-Spider-Man." Moreover, Hardy's obvious passion for the material bodes well for the reboot, which could easily serve as the perfect alternative to the lighter, more family-friendly Marvel Studios films.
"I also want to open the story up in such a way that 'The Crow' is now part of a world where there are the Marvel movies and the 'Dark Knight' movies. I intend it to be incredibly emotional and brutal, and all the things you’d want from a Crow film. I want to make a movie that I would have wanted to see, as a huge fan of 'The Crow.' "
What largely resonated with fans of the first film was its balance of emotion and spectacle, emphasizing the tragedy inherent in the Crow's origin as well as the grief and subsequent rage that fuels his quest for vengeance. If Hardy manages to nail that tone while still bringing something new to the tale of Eric Draven, this could be one reboot that actually gets it right.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on The Crow reboot as this story develops.