Alex Proyas’ 1994 comic book adaptation The Crow has lived on in infamy for over a quarter of a century due to the accident that killed star Brandon Lee, who was fatally shot on set. The morbid curiosity surrounding it saw the movie go on to become a minor hit at the box office where it would earn over $50 million, and it quickly gained a reputation as a cult classic regardless of the circumstances.
The leading man was one of Hollywood’s fastest-rising stars at the time and The Crow looked poised to see him escape the shadow of his legendary father Bruce, but despite suffering a tragedy that would forever taint the name of the title character, four sequels of vastly diminished quality were made between 1996 and 2005, and because we’re talking about a property that still holds some sort of name recognition, a reboot has been stuck in development hell for well over a decade.
At various points, directors Stephen Norrington, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, F. Javier Gutierrez and Corin Hardy were attached to step behind the camera, while an extensive list of actors were linked to the title role including Bradley Cooper, Mark Wahlberg, Channing Tatum, Ryan Gosling, James McAvoy, Tom Hiddleston, Nicholas Hoult and most recently, Jason Momoa.
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At this point, it seems highly unlikely that The Crow reboot will ever happen, and in a recent interview, supporting player Ernie Hudson admitted that he hopes it stays that way, with the 74 year-old believing that any hopes for a franchise died with Brandon Lee.
“I knew Brandon before we did the movie. We had some problems sort of pulling it together, but when Brandon died, it’s even hard to verbalize. I’ve done action movies, but nobody gets hurt. I mean, it’s close to impossible, at least in my mind that that could happen, but it did happen. But, in my mind, it was kind of done. Maybe there could be other Crows or whatever, but, it’s not like Ghostbusters, which I thought, ‘Oh yeah, you can have a lot of them’. I just thought Brandon was The Crow and, as far as I was concerned, once he died and we went back to finish it, it was done in my mind. I know they’ve made others, but I’ve never seen them. Brandon was The Crow, and that’s how I feel. Now, fans feel otherwise. Obviously, the studio feels otherwise, because it could be a great franchise, but sometimes I think it’s very specific.”
Based on how many times the studio has tried and so far failed to reboot The Crow, you can completely agree with Hudson’s sentiments. The original will always endure as a monument to Brandon Lee with a dedicated and loyal following, and there’s plenty of other comic book properties ripe for adaptation that don’t come attached with the baggage of one of the most well-known on-set accidents in history.