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‘The Crow’ Reboot Is Apparently Still Happening? Here’s What We Know

The latest development from the project of the damned

Brandon Lee as Eric Draven in The Crow

Here’s some potentially exciting news for fans of gothy dramas, necromancy, and violent revenge fantasies: after languishing for years in development hell, it looks like the reboot of The Crow may still be winging around. Here’s everything we know so far.

The original The Crow, starring Brandon Lee, became a phenomenon when it came out in 1994. Based on the comics by James O’Barr, The Crow tells the story of musician Eric Draven, who’s murdered along with his fiancee Shelly the night before their wedding (set to take place on Halloween). One year later, Eric is resurrected by a mystical crow and gets revenge on the members of the street gang who killed him, killing them one by one in diabolically creative ways. Witnessing it all is Sarah, a young girl who was friends with Eric and Shelly in life. The movie had a dark, dreamlike visual style that hasn’t been matched since, with an iconic look for Eric that inspired countless Halloween costumes.

Adding to the movie’s troubling lore was Brandon Lee’s tragic death on set, three days before he was scheduled to finish filming, when he was shot with a prop gun that had a fragment of a dummy bullet in it. The movie almost went unfinished, and when it was eventually released, audiences were subjected to the uncanny and disturbing experience of watching a deceased actor play a ghost. Those of us who grew up with The Crow were fascinated by both its macabre story and the tragedy that cast an even darker shadow over it.

Despite that tragedy, there were three sequels to the original movie. The Crow: City of Angels, released in 1996, starred Ashe Corven as another murder victim resurrected by a crow and assisted by a grown-up Sarah. The Crow: Salvation was released in 1998, but went direct to video, and The Crow: Wicked Prayer came out briefly in theaters in 2005 before going to video. None of the sequels got a very good critical reception, though, with the original film remaining the gold standard.

A Reboot/Remake/Reimagining 14 Years in the Making

The remake of The Crow was first announced way back in 2008, with Stephen Norrington set to direct and Ed Pressman producing, but the project was plagued with problems from the start. Norrington soon left the project, with multiple other directors coming and going after that. The project then became embroiled in various legal battles and scheduling conflicts, and eventually, the production company filed for bankruptcy. An almost comical number of actors were tapped over the years—with some of them actually cast—to play Eric, including Channing Tatum, Ryan Gosling, James McAvoy, Tom Hiddleston, Alexander Skarsgard, Luke Evans, and Jack Huston. None of these efforts panned out, though.

Eventually, in 2016, Jason Momoa signed on to play Eric, getting so far as to film some test footage, and Corin Hardy signed on as director. However, in 2018 Momoa left the project. In a statement on Instagram, he wrote that “I can’t play anything but what this film deserves and it needs love. I’m ready when it’s right.” The film went back into stasis after that.

Resurrected Yet Again

Ed Pressman has remained attached to the project throughout all the drama and upheaval, and how he’s announced that the reboot is in the works again (or still?). In a recent interview with Indiewire, Pressman related that a director and cast will be announced at some point in the future. Pressman also said that “The Crow is a kind of anti-superhero, unique to the world of graphic novels,” hinting that he plans to keep it true to its roots in the 1989 comics. Alas, Jason Momoa fans will be disappointed to know that so far, there’s no sign of him signing back on to the project.

How seriously should we take this new announcement? It could be that Pressman is just reiterating his commitment to a project that, like Eric Draven, can neither live nor die, and is doomed to wander the earth tormenting fans with false hopes and shattered dreams. Or maybe Pressman knows something we don’t. After all, there’s an abundance of streaming services on which to release the movie, and the original is now old enough that many moviegoers won’t be familiar enough with it to compare it to the new one. Maybe now is a good time to give the project another go.

Will The Crow reboot actually get made, or will it end up trapped again in development hell? It’s too early to tell. Stay tuned for more details!

(image: Dimension Films)

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Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and she consumes massive amounts of Marvel media, folk horror, science fiction, fantasy, and nature writing. She lives in Los Angeles, where she reads tarot and makes yarn on her spinning wheel. You can check out more of her writing at https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/, or find her on Twitter at @juliaglassman.