In 1994, actor Brandon Lee, son of the legendary Bruce Lee, was tragically shot and killed. This was no act of criminal violence; the trigger was pulled by an actor on set during the filming of Alex Proyas’ supernatural revenge-thriller THE CROW, an adaptation of James O’Barr’s comic. A dummy bullet trapped in the gun was overlooked when blank cartridges were being inserted – a mistake, but one which would make THE CROW Lee’s last film. Script changes, clever editing and digital effects were used to complete the film without its lead actor, coincidentally giving the entire film a strange, melancholic air when the viewer is aware of Lee’s death.
3 sequels followed the highly-praised original, all of which received ‘meh’ responses. A Canadian television series, THE CROW: STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN, was also produced, during which another accidental death occurred when an unexpected explosion killed stuntman Marc Akerstream. Now, a reboot is in the works under writer and director Francisco Javier Gutiérrez.
From the moment the reboot was announced, the question arose as to which actor would be returning to Lee’s iconic character Eric Draven, the leather-clad painted-faced anti-hero who is brought back from the dead to enact bloody revenge on his killers. Mark Wahlberg, James MacAvoy and Ryan Gosling were rumoured; even Skrillex was announced to be playing Draven as an April fool. The part ultimately went to Welsh actor Luke Evans, known for his role as Bard in Peter Jackson’s HOBBIT trilogy.
In a recent interview, Evans addressed the subject of Lee’s death and the so-called ‘curse’ of THE CROW:
‘I’m not one of those superstitious people. It is incredibly sad that Brandon died making the movie. He was a very talented actor. It is a very beautiful story, The Crow. It is a very tragic story with huge emotional themes. We plan to tell the story differently and with a lot of integrity to the original comic book.’
So it looks like the new film is not going to be a direct remake of the 1994 original, which should no doubt please fans. Quite what direction it will take is yet to be seen.
THE CROW is rumored to also be starring Norman Reedus (THE WALKING DEAD, THE BOONDOCK SAINTS) and Kristen Stewart (TWILIGHT, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN). No release date has been confirmed.