the crow remake

Maybe it’s time to admit that The Crow will never rise from the grave. After a troubled development and a revolving list of directors and stars, the Crow remake is dead yet again, as star Jason Momoa and director Corin Hardy exit the project.

How hard is it to get The Crow off the ground? Very hard, apparently. In fact, it’s damn near impossible. Deadline reports that the long-gestating remake is in trouble yet again, as star Jason Momoa and director Corin Hardy have both exited the project. Per Deadline, “this has to do with creative and financial differences with Samuel Hadida, whose Davis Films holds the underlying rights and who was financing the film.”

The Crow is based on the James O’Barr graphic novel of the same name. In 1994, Alex Proyas adapted O’Barr’s comic into a goth-as-hell action thriller. The plot involves a murdered rockstar who returns from the grave to get revenge against the punks who killed him and his girlfriend. The film took on an extra-ghoulish air when its star, Brandon Lee, was shot and killed during filming due to an on-set accident involving an improperly loaded prop-gun. Proyas completed the film with doubles standing in for Lee, occasionally digitally planting Lee’s face over stand-ins.

Crow remake has been flapping around Hollywood since 2008. Blade director Stephen Norrington originally intended to helm a “reinvention” of the film. But Norrington flew away from the project in 2011, and 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo entered. At the time, Bradley Cooper was in talks to star in the film and several pieces of (hilarious) concept art were made to reflect that:

crow concept art

Legal problems began to interfere with the project, but Relativity Media, who were then spearheading the remake, soldiered on. Cooper dropped out due to scheduling conflicts, and producers began considering Mark Wahlberg, Channing Tatum, Ryan Gosling and James McAvoy for the lead. Fresnadillo then exited the film, and future Rings director Francisco Javier Gutiérrez was brought in.

With Gutiérrez in the director’s chair, a whole new set of actors began being mentioned in connection with the film: Tom Hiddleston, Alexander Skarsgård, and finally, Luke Evans, who was officially attached to star in 2015. Evans didn’t last long, however, and Boardwalk Empire actor Jack Huston was cast to take his place. Huston soon dropped out as well (holy shit, this is getting ridiculous), and producers began suggesting Nicholas Hoult and Jack O’Connell as possible replacements. At some point, director Gutiérrez left the project, and The Hallow and The Nun filmmaker Corin Hardy signed on.

In 2015, the project hit another roadblock when Relativity Media filed for bankruptcy, causing Hardy to jump ship. Sane people might have called it quits at this point, but Relativity kept going. Hardy then inexplicably returned to the project, and Aquaman star Jason Momoa signed to play the lead. In 2016, Davis Films, Highland Film Group, and Electric Shadow acquired the rights to finance, produce, and distribute the film from Relativity. In 2017, Sony announced they would be distributing the film. Production was finally set to begin sometime in the next five weeks in Budapest, and word is the movie was in full pre-production mode.

Now, The Crow is once again without a director or a star. According to Deadline, even though Sony Pictures already announced it “had picked up the film for worldwide distribution, and announced an October 11, 2019 release date”, that deal hadn’t actually closed yet. As a result, the “inability to close a deal with Sony left the studio in exit mode, and that directly precipitated the exits of the filmmaker and star.”

And now we get to do this dance all over again! See you in a few months when a new director and star are announced. Then we’ll see you in a few weeks after that when the new director and star quit.

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