"The Crow," a new revival of the '94 comic adaptation — which is perhaps known more for the tragic accident that took the life of star Brandon Lee than for the accomplished, nearly velveteen visuals of Australian director Alex Proyas — has been in the works for a very long time.
It's seen various filmmakers and stars (including, at one point, Bradley Cooper) come and go, but now seems to be inching towards the big screen with talent firmly in place in front of the camera as well as behind, with Javier Gutierrez, director of 2008's "Before the Fall," at the helm, and Luke Evans in the title role. What's more is the original comic book's creator, James O'Barr has signed on as a "creative consultant," which is a huge step for the film's legitimacy.
At Comic-Con, where the first gnarly concept poster for the film was shelled out, Shock Till You Drop chatted up both O'Barr and Gutierrez, and the two made it very clear that this isn't some cheapo remake. Instead, the pair wants the movie world to consider this a "new interpretation" of the source material, got it?
"Brandon was a friend and I'd never do anything that hinted at betrayal," said O'Barr, whose position in the new movie is still being "ironed out." "But what Javier told me was that he wanted to go back to the source material. Be as faithful as possible which would make it something entirely different. Proyas' film is stunning and stylized. I mean that in a good way. Nothing negative about it. Going back to the original book and keeping it grounded and realistic and dirty and gritty, it really appealed to me."
Gutierrez reiterated this approach. "I love the story and I told them I'd do it because I love the story, but it's not a remake of the original. It's a new interpretation," he said, seeming almost painfully aware of how much people love the original. "We can do something original," the director went on. "The darkness, the beauty, the violence and love. That's what got me excited. A lot of fans responded to the original movie, but this is going to be different. This is going to give them some good gifts. We're going to pull some stuff from the original comic that's going to be tough and we're going to do it in an original and artistic way."
O'Barr said that when he was looking at potential actors to inhabit the iconic role, he came across a photo of Evans and remarked "that's the guy." "He's got torture written all over his face," O'Barr explained. That's obviously something no amount of homemade make-up can achieve, no offense to Tom Hiddleston.
Gutierrez elaborated, that Evan is "going to be sensitive when the love story comes in and it's going to be dark when the violence comes in. You have to buy that cocktail of emotions and to find an actor that can balance that in his soul and eyes is tough."
As for that painted poster, it's the handiwork of O'Barr himself and indicates that principle photography'll get going next year. What's unclear is whether this is that so-called "classic" image of The Crow or one in which O'Barr was imaging Evans in the black-and-white make-up.