In recent years, all attempts by Relativity Media to reboot the mid 90′s cult classic The Crow movie series have been met with failure.
First up was director Stephen Norrington (Blade, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) who was attached to a scripted remake by singer Nick Cave. Their version would have been a lot different from the original, Norrington saying during his attachment that “the new movie will be realistic, hard edged and mysterious, almost documentary-style” and was likely to star Mark Wahlberg in the leading role, an action star who had entered talks. This version didn’t move passed the financing stage.
Relativity’s second reboot attempt was to throw out Cave’s script and find a new director/writer/star. Spanish filmmaker Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto, 28 Weeks Later) was hired last Spring, working from a script by Alex Tse (co-writer on Watchmen). The Hangover star Bradley Cooper, who at this point had just starred in his first leading man solo hit with Limitless, flew himself out to Spain to meet with Fresnadillo and pitched the idea of him starring as the ghastly face-painted avenge seeking Goth. Fresnadillo was impressed and finally it looked like the movie was a go.
Not much was know about this version but recently leaked production sketches, courtesy of Shock Till You Drop, have shown it would have stuck very close to the original’s Gothic style.
This remake attempt though was to also fall by the wayside when Relativity engaged in a legal battle with The Weinstein Company, who claimed they held the distribution rights to the property and no movie could be made without them. The long delay cost them their director & star.
Fast forward to now though and with the lawsuit settled out of court, and The Weinstein’s and Relativity agreeing to team up to make the film, finally the reboot seems to be heading to the big screen.
The first sign of the project moving forward was reported by Deadline this week, with writer Jesse Wigutow (short movie Sweet Friggin’ Daisies) brought on to pen what would be a brand new screenplay. This news was quickly followed up by The Hollywood Reporter revealing Spanish director F. Javier Guitierrez (Before The Fall) would now helm, curiously the second Spaniard to give this a shot. With Wigutow & Guitierrez it did seem odd that the property has fallen to two relatively unknowns but both guys will come cheap and The Weinsteins/Relativity have seemingly formed a pact to make the remake as cheaply as possible.
The original Crow was released in 1993 and has become a cult classic, due partly to actor Brandon Lee’s death on set. Directed by Alex Proyas, it was an adaptation of James O’Barr’s comic book of the same name. It concerned guitarist Eric Draven, who comes back from the dead one year after his murder and the murder and rape of his girlfriend Shelly. With the titular bird as a supernatural guide, he hunts down and picks off his killers one by one. It went onto spawn a T.V. show, which followed Draven’s character, and a succession of sequels, which cast new characters in the lead role.
Whether that will be Mark Wahlberg (yes, him again( or Channing Tatum in the leasd role (both actors were looked at by Relativity, even when The Weinstein lawsuit was happening) is something we will have to wait to find out.