The Crow Creator James O’Barr Recalls The Sequel That Never Came To Be

From City of Angels to Stairway to Heaven, Alex Proyas’ cult horror flick The Crow inspired a smattering of sequels across screens big and small.

None of them were particularly memorable, of course, as they failed to capture the look and feel of their predecessor – not to mention the fact that the late Brandon Lee left some pretty big boots to fill. But that didn’t stem the tide, and in 2005, director Lance Mungia whipped together The Crow: Wicked Prayer, which is arguably the worst sequel of the lot.

But had things panned out differently, and Miramax green-lit James O’Barr’s original pitch, film fans may well have received a follow-up to The Crow that was worthy of the 1994 classic. As O’Barr tells Screen Geek, the proposed sequel would’ve taken things in a “completely different direction.”

My intention was to take it to a completely different direction. So I wrote a story that was a based on a little incident that happened in Chicago about a woman who was killed at her wedding. I remember reading it in the paper and it was just a horrible tragedy. Some Irish gangsters tried to rob the main parish in Chicago where they held the collections, and they got lost coming down. They ended up in the middle of a wedding and one of the bride’s maid’s boyfriend, in the audience, was a cop and a big shootout started, church burnt down and 13 people were killed.

That story always stuck with me and that day is supposed to be the happiest day in someone’s life and it couldn’t get more tragic than that. So my idea was “Okay, what if I take that scenario and call it The Crow: The Bride?” and she comes back. It was super cool, she’s still wearing her wedding dress with barb wire and nails in her head.

James O’Barr’s exhaustive pitch, which spanned a full 16 pages before Miramax decided to pass, continues below:

I wrote out a treatment which is 16 pages, it tells you every plot point and tells you everything in the story, and they paid me for it. It was like $10,000, they said “Nah, we can’t make this. First of all, no one is going to see an action movie with a female lead.” And I was like, ”If you do it right, it doesn’t matter if it’s about gender. It just has to be handled right.” They declined and so, there’s the script and I did a bunch of illustrations for it as well and they threw on the shelves at Miramax.

I think it was ’95. I think I wrote it at the end of ’94. By the time it went through the lawyers and pressmen, it ended up in the dusty back room of Miramax. It was the end of ’95 and about 4 or 5 years later this movie ‘Kill Bill’ comes out and I’m sitting in the theater like – you know that meme with the guy? (O’Barr makes a shocked realization face). “This looks vaguely familiar!” Mine didn’t have any of the Kung-Fu nonsense. I mean it’s the exact same story. They paid for it, so they had the right to do whatever they wanna’ do with it. Like a couple of years ago, I dumped it out and thought, “This is a good solid story.” So I decided to turn it into a graphic.

From what we understand, this bears no relation to Rob Zombie’s sequel pitch – titled The Crow: 2037, it originally made waves in the late ’90s – but whatever the case, there’s still hope for The Crow moving forward. Word is that Corin Hardy’s long-in-development reboot is now primed to take flight early next year.