Known for his roles in Thor, War Horse, Midnight in Paris, and Marvel’s The Avengers, Tom Hiddleston is in early discussions to play Eric Draven in Relativity Media’s reimagining of The Crow.
Based on the James O’Barr comic book series that was previously adapted as a 1994 Miramax movie starring Brandon Lee, The Crow follows a man who comes back to life as an undead avenger of his and his fiancée’s murder.
The 1994 film, directed by Alex Proyas, was a a critical and commercial success for Miramax. While the film is remembered for Proyas’ unique visual style, the death of Brandon Lee will forever haunt the supernatural superhero film. During production at Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina, Lee suffered an accidental gunshot while filming.
According to The Wrap, Hiddleston sent the producers his own make-up test for the character:
Hiddleston recently had dinner with producers and sent them a makeup test that he did on his own in London. He will undergo a proper makeup test in the coming days, as the character’s appearance is important to fans of the franchise, who should be delighted with the casting of a major member of the Marvel universe.
F. Javier Gutierrez is directing the remake, which is scheduled to begin production this Fall.
The Crow was followed by three sequels: 1996’s The Crow: City of Angels, 2000’s The Crow: Salvation, and 2005’s The Crow: Wicked Prayer, which starred Terminator 2‘s Edward Furlong. None of these films were able to capture the critical and commercial success of the original cult film.
Creator James O’Barr spoke with Comic Book Resources recently and shared his thoughts about the remake:
“I don’t have great expectations. I think the reality is, no matter who you get to star in it, or if you get Ridley Scott to direct it and spend 200 million dollars, you’re still not gonna top what Brandon Lee and Alex Proyas did in that first ten million dollar movie.”
I tend to agree – The Crow is one of my favorite films, and I think the recent insurgence in dark, gritty superhero stories owe quite a lot to films like RoboCop and The Crow – who approached comic book stories realistically and didn’t shy away from darker, more mature ideas.
I tell you what though, I’m certainly interested in The Crow with a great actor like Tom Hiddleston in the lead role. O’Barr wrote The Crow to help him deal with the death of his girlfriend, and it’s the story’s emotional content that really sets it apart from other comic book properties. Clearly, Hiddleston is an actor who is capable of portraying dark as well as light – so he’s a great choice.
I’d prefer, however, that this film avoid using the character of Eric Draven and instead work as a kind of rebirth or spiritual successor to the original film. Let’s face it – the sequels were all essentially reboots, recycling the same story with new characters – so why not just create a new, compelling character for Hiddleston to portray? For me, Eric Draven will forever belong to Brandon Lee. The character lived and died with him.
What do you think? Are you interested in seeing The Crow on the big screen again – or is this another attempt by Hollywood to cash in on the successes of others by churning out a film with a built-in audience?