James O'Barr The Crow

From the very moment it was announced, The Crow remake had some fans up in arms — including James O’Barr himself, creator of the original The Crow comics. But he’s since come around on the film, and in a new interview he explains why. Gotta say, his case is fairly convincing.

For one thing, O’Barr says, the new film is not a remake but a “literally page-for-page adaptation” of the book, with a slightly different lead. (I’ll let him explain.) And according to O’Barr, the new Crow will be “closer to Taxi Driver or a John Woo film.” Intrigued yet?

Read the James O’Barr The Crow comments after the jump. 

O’Barr spilled his thoughts on the new The Crow in an interview with Korsgaard’s Commentary (via Coming Soon). The whole thing is worth a read if you’re interested in O’Barr and his work, but here are some of the highlights.

Right off the bat, O’Barr acknowledges, “No one was more against a remake than I was.” He later adds, “[Original The Crow star] Brandon Lee was a friend, and I’d never do anything to hurt his legacy.” But then he recalls what the new The Crow director F. Javier Gutierrez said to change his mind.

He told me ‘I don’t want to remake that film, that film is perfect as it is. I want to do your book, literally page-for-page adaptation.’ That’s what changed by mind, that it’s not a remake of the original film, or cashing in on the cult status of Brandon Lee, it’s that Guiterrez wants to go back to the source material, which if you’ve read the book and seen the film, while the movie has the right feel and the right flavor of the book, probably only 40% of the book made it into the movie.

That got me intrigued – the idea of adapting it from page 1 and going from there, including a lot of the darker or stranger elements of the comic dropped from the original film.

He further explains:

We’re not remaking the movie, we’re readapting the book. My metaphor is that there is a Bela Lugosi Dracula and there’s a Francis Ford Coppola Dracula, they use the same material, but you still got two entirely different films. This one’s going to be closer to Taxi Driver or a John Woo film, and I think there’s room for both of them – part of the appeal of the Crow comics after all is that they can tell very different stories after all.

Among other things, a more faithful adaptation means the lead character in the new film won’t be exactly like the lead character from the last one.

I’d also remind them that Eric Draven was a creation of the movie – if you read the comic, Eric and Shelley never have their last names revealed. Hopefully, this is one area the new movie being more faithful to the comic will come into play, and Eric won’t be going by Eric Draven in the new film. Luke Evans may play Eric, but Brandon Lee will forever be Eric Draven.

Oh, and O’Barr thinks Luke Evans “looks great” in makeup, for what that’s worth.

O’Barr also discusses how he came to sign on as a creative consultant on the project.

So after this, Javier, Luke and I went to the studio and said we won’t do this unless all three of us do it together. I said if you want me involved, this is what I need, I want control of the soundtrack, like with the first one, I want a voice on all the casting, and I want to be able to give my two cents on the script and the characters, and they agreed to everything.

As the guy in charge of the soundtrack, O’Barr has some ideas already.

Like with the soundtrack for example, which was so crucial to the first film, we’re including some music I’d wanted to originally, but just couldn’t get the rights to, some actual Joy Division songs, some vintage Cure songs – I’m still pretty active in the music industry, and there is a lot of neo-goth bands out there, that have that same sound, and I’ve talked to some of them about contributing, and they’re very excited about it.

There will always be diehards who refuse to accept anything but the Brandon Lee version, and in any case it’s way too early in the process to guess how all of this will turn out. Evans isn’t even locked in yet. But O’Barr makes a pretty compelling case for at least giving the new movie a shot. We’ll be keeping an eye on this one as shooting begins next spring.

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