December 15, 2008

The Crow to Fly Again

I am not sure what to think about this bit of news from Variety. It states that director Stephen Norrington is going to bring us a new take on The Crow franchise. On one hand I am excited, while on the other I am extremely skeptical.

When people ask me what my favorite movie is, for years the answer came back: "The Crow." That is usually the title that still escapes my lips although the more movies I watch the more other factors come into play such as mood and the last great film I saw. Still, more often than note I come back to Alex Proyas' gothic masterpiece based on the graphic novel created by James O'Barr as a cathartic release to help recover from the death of his girlfriend many years ago.

TheCrow4The Crow is a film that brings to life a hero driven by revenge and love. It is a story ultimately of romance. It is tragic, action packed, dark, stylish, and brought to the screen in such singular style as to become a cult piece of fiction that has gained even more power over the years. Of course, it is also remembered for the tragic accident that took the life of star Brandon Lee (son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee), who gave an incredibly charismatic and emotional performance as Eric Draven.

Now, the idea of a remake is almost unthinkable, but far be it for me to dismiss it out of hand. The original film did give way to three sequels (featuring different lead characters) and a television series based on the Draven story. From the Variety article I am unclear if this is a remake of the Eric Draven story or if it will be a new story using the Crow as a vehicle, like the sequels did. I think I would prefer a new story, although I would not be against a new take on the Draven character. How's that for non-committal?

Stephen Norrington is an interesting choice to take on such a project considering his last film was the not so good League of Extraordinary Gentleman. Of course, if you go back a bit further you will see that he acquitted himself well with Blade, and it is that film that gives me hope that he could do well here. A lot of it will hinge on the story and the casting. It is going to take something special to lead this film, and I believe that something will need to come from an unexpected source, much like Heath Ledger's intense performance in The Dark Knight.

Norrington told Daily Variety: “Whereas Proyas’ original was gloriously gothic and stylized, the new movie will be realistic, hard-edged and mysterious, almost documentary-style." Interesting, I truly hope he has it in him if this project does become a reality. If he does pull this off, and I truly want to believe that he can, I have another idea for him, I would love to see a proper dark and gritty take on Todd McFarlane's Spawn character.


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