Why The Crow remake is doomed

In our current age of remakes, reboots, and overall superhero saturation, Hollywood has returned its attention to The Crow. A potential remake/reboot of the movie has been stuck in development hell for years. We're not convinced a remake will ever see the light of day. Even if it did, the chances of it meeting or exceeding the quality of the 1994 cult classic are slim. Here are a few reasons why…

The original Crow movie is a legend that should be left alone

The first film adaptation of James O'Barr's iconic graphic novel, The Crow, hit theaters in 1994. In addition to being unique in and of itself, the superhero movie is even more infamous for being Brandon Lee's last performance. The late actor—who portrayed the story's undying, white-faced hero, Eric Draven—was tragically killed on set in a firearms accident. The movie, which still holds up today, is a simple revenge tale mixed with supernatural elements and an appropriately gothic atmosphere. Credit where it's due to the movie's director, Alex Proyas, who crafted a compelling film in an era when decent comic book-to-film adaptations were as rare as finding a vocal Nickelback fan is today. So what is a talent like Proyas directing now? Gods of Egypt. Okay, let's move on.

Relativity Media's financial woes

The remake of The Crow may be doomed before cameras even begin rolling. Relativity Media has the rights to produce films based on The Crow. But the company's financial solvency has been less than stellar over the years. The production of flops like 2011's Cowboys & Aliens certainly didn't help matters. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2015 and reemerged in early 2016. Shortly afterward, Relativity fired director Corin Hardy, who'd been actively involved in preproduction on the remake, from the project. In response to this, Edward Pressman (producer of the 1994 movie), filed papers in bankruptcy court to prevent Relativity from producing any movies based on The Crow. As a result, the remake will likely be tied up in legal battles for some time.

Director musical chairs

Since 2010, four directors have been attached The Crow remake. And all of them ultimately left the project. The latest casualty is the aforementioned indie director Corin Hardy (pictured above). His departure follows directors Stephen Norrington (Blade), Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later), and F. Javier Gutierrez (Rings). Even if the legal situation gets worked out, whatever studio ends up producing the movie may have difficulty finding a capable director. Who would want to devote time and energy into preproduction when the remake may never become a reality? 

Lead actor overload

Jack Huston (TV's Boardwalk Empire, pictured above) was the latest actor set to play Eric Draven. But he dropped out in June 2015. With every new director came talks of a different actor attached to the project. Other would-be Eric Dravens include James McAvoy, Alexander Skarsgard, Tom Hiddleston, Bradley Cooper, Luke Evans, and Norman Reedus. They almost have enough people to start an "I Almost Starred in The Crow" Meetup group. At this rate, every actor in Hollywood will be offered the role. As with the director, what actor will now take this opportunity seriously? Eventually the filmmakers may be forced to hire a less skilled or bankable star as the lead. 

Will anyone care?

The Crow remake would attempt to replicate the highs of the 1994 cult movie adaptation of a niche comic book. It's hard not to be skeptical, given these facts, that the property can attract a substantial audience. Sure, 30-something adults who saw the original movie
in middle school may hold fond memories of it. But what about younger millennials? The Crow is not as high profile as even The Green Lantern. If that movie, with a substantial budget and the muscle of Warner Brothers behind it, couldn't overcome audience indifference, then what hope does a movie like The Crow have? Plus, let's face it: the 1994 movie received a great deal of publicity from Brandon Lee's death. At the risk of sounding morbid, his unfortunate demise likely bolstered the movie's initial popularity.

Too much bad

Many of us either don't realize, or conveniently forgot, that The Crow actually had three sequels. The universal consensus is that all three are barely shadows of the original's quality. Only the first sequel, The Crow: City of Angels (1996), had a theatrical release. The last, The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005), essentially went straight to video and featured Edward Furlong (pictured above) as the hero. Quite a step down from Brandon Lee. Also, Tara Reid and David Boreanaz were the villains. No, despite what the evidence suggests, The Crow: Wicked Prayer was neither a SyFy Channel original movie nor a fever dream. These lackluster sequels mean that The Crow brand is not as well-regarded as it once was. This fact further limits the audience for a remake. Why would filmgoers pony up the cash to see a new
installment when they've been burned three times before? The Crow may be immortal, but let's face facts: the franchise is dead, and should stay that way.