Ready or not, THE CROW will "fly again". Variety is reporting that director Stephen Norrington (BLADE, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN) has signed on to write and direct a reinvention of THE CROW based on the comic created by James O’Barr.
The article continues, "Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media is negotiating with producer Ed Pressman to acquire the film franchise and finance the film. Pressman produced the 1994 Alex Proyas-directed screen transfer, in which rock musician Eric Draven is murdered trying to rescue his girlfriend from thugs, and returns from the dead one year later to exact vengeance. Though the original became a gothic-style hit that grossed nearly $100 million worldwide, it is primarily remembered for a tragic accident in which star Brandon Lee was killed during filming."
For Norrington, THE CROW deal marks the end of a long screen sabbatical. After making his breakthrough with the Marvel Comics hero "BLADE," Norrington took on a big-budget comic transfer with “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” Neither the director nor his star, Sean Connery, has made a film since.
Norrington said he felt demoralized by that experience, and the accomplished sculptor spent the next five years writing and working on his art. He made a deal to direct “Clash of the Titans” for Warner Bros., but left the project, he said, because he was “unable to excite Warner Bros. with my take, or influence the screenplay to any comfortable extent.” That pic goes into production early next year with Louis Leterrier at the helm.
Norrington resolved to focus on independent projects, and sparked to an approach on “The Crow” from Relativity production chief Tucker Tooley and Pressman. Norrington had a relationship with Pressman when they came close to making “Mutant Chronicles” several years ago. Both embraced Norrington’s 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 Daily Variety.
Now before people start crying foul, let’s keep in mind that all the sequels, THE CROW: CITY OF ANGELS, THE CROW: SALVATION (which I actually like) and even the dreaded THE CROW: WICKED PRAYER were all essentially remakes of the original. While I can’t imagine improving upon the already perfect first film by Alex Proyas (from a brilliantly adapted script by David J. Schow) with Brandon Lee, I’m curious to see what the director of BLADE will do with this. Remember BLADE was the first succesful Marvel movie and paved the way for X-MEN and then SPIDER-MAN and every other comic book related movie since.
Casting wise, they shouldn’t go with a unknown actor. They’ve done that 3 times with the sequels and it’s never worked. My two cents? Go for a big celebrity you wouldn’t expect, ala Heath Ledger as the Joker. I was one of those fans that didn’t "get" that casting at first, but now of course it’s one of the best performances in a comic book related film ever. Let’s do the same with THE CROW.