The Crow Returns to the Screen
The Crow, last seen on screen in 2005, is headed for the remake route. Stephen Norrington (Blade) will revisit James O’Barr’s comic book creation according to Variety.
He has signed with Relativity Media to write and direct a new version of the character. The film rights have been in Ed Pressman’s possession and negotiations continue to transfer them to the new production company.
O’Barr created the comic in 1989 as a means of dealing with his feelings in the wake of his girlfriend’s death at the hands of a drunk driver. He first published the title through Caliber Comics. The series moved to Kitchen Sink Press from 1996-1998 followed by a The Crow/Razor one-shot crossover from London Night Studios. Also in 1998, Random House released The Crow: Shattered Lives and Broken Dreams, a prose anthology edited by Ed Kramer and O’Barr with stories by Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop, Alan Dean Foster, Jane Yolen and Gene Wolf. The most recent comics’ stories came from Image as a ten issue series in 1999.
In 1994, the first film adaptation was released, directed by Alex Proyas, which introduced the concept to a new audience and a cult was born. The movie told of “musician Eric Draven is murdered trying to rescue his girlfriend from thugs, and returns from the dead one year later to exact vengeance.” It starred Brandon Lee, who died during filming. The sequels provied less successful with the final two going direct-to-video. There was also a short-lived television series that merited little attention.
Norrington first came to attention through his successful film adaptation of Marvel’s Blade and returned to comics with the less well-received League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. This will be his first film since that disappointing experience. He almost directed the remake of Warner’s Clash of the Titans but left over creative disagreements with the studio, saying he was “unable to excite Warner Bros. with my take, or influence the screenplay to any comfortable extent.” Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk) replaced him.
Norrington was approached by Relatvity’s execs, whom he knew well, and they liked his “vision of the antihero, which Norrington said will be different than the film Proyas made.”
“Whereas Proyas’ original was gloriously gothic and stylized, the new movie will be realistic, hard-edged and mysterious, almost documentary-style,” Norrington told Variety.