Good news: those reports about Mark Wahlberg being offered the lead role in The Crow reboot might not be true. Bad news: director Stephen Norrington is no longer involved with the project.
Evidently someone was cast (or was at least very interested) to play the new Crow, and the script rewrites that actor demanded apparently persuaded Norrington to jump ship.
The eclectic filmmaker has been involved with this new adaptation of James O'Barr's popular graphic novel from its earliest stages and was determined to make The Crow reboot as different from previous incarnations as possible.
If you've seen any of The Crow sequels you know that they already essentially remade the first movie three times. So while Norrington's insistence that they were breaking new ground didn't make a reboot feel any more necessary, it did give me hope that there was finally a director looking at this property with a fresh set of eyes.
That said, it's somewhat unfortunate to hear him admit that The Crow reached a point where it was no longer the film he wanted to make. While addressing those Wahlberg rumors for Mania, Norrington reveals:
"I don't know about that story but I can tell you I'm no longer involved with The Crow.”
He elaborates that an unnamed actor became involved with the film and was extremely enthusiastic about the director's vision – but not his script. Although Norrington doesn't divulge the actor's identity, it's apparently someone with enough pull to request a new writer and a new approach to the material. Norrington explains:
“As I had gotten involved explicitly as a writer-director my exit was inevitable. I was bummed. I had developed a genuinely authentic take that respected the source material while moving beyond it, and Nick Cave came in and added more depth … I think the fans would have been pleasantly surprised.”
Much like George Miller's aborted Justice League film, it's easy to talk about how brilliant something would have been knowing an audience will never see it – but the fact that Norrington's initial script intrigued Nick Cave enough to get involved suggests this might have been a really interesting take on The Crow.
And it turns out Norrington actually would have supported Wahlberg in the lead role:
“I will say I think Wahlberg could be cool if they take a gritty blue-collar approach … He's a truthful actor. I think he could really ground the supernatural stuff.”
I still think Wahlberg is a terrible choice, and I'm a little confused because I thought a gritty approach was exactly what Norrington had in mind? Regardless, now that The Crow is behind him Norrington has turned his attention to The Lost Patrol – a supernatural World War II film set up at Legendary Pictures.
So who is this mysterious new actor determined to revamp The Crow? Is it possible this person has since left the project as well and Wahlberg is still a contender?
Now that The Crow reboot has scrapped eighteen months worth of work, it looks as if it's time to search for a new writer and director. We'll keep you updated on any further developments.