The Crow Remake Is ‘A Scrappy Indie Movie’ With The Graphic Novel’s ‘Darkness And Violence’

The Crow (2024)

by Jordan King |
Published on

To a whole generation, Alex Proyas’ 1994 cult classic The Crow is more than just a comic book movie — it’s an indelible snapshot of a specific moment in time. Based on graphic novelist James O’Barr’s deeply personal, trauma-infused supernatural story about a Goth rocker raised from the dead to avenge his murdered fiancée, Proyas’ film — a moodily stylised, emotionally raw exploration of grief driven by the tragically departed Brandon Lee’s lead performance as Eric Draven — is the epitome of grunge. As such, amidst a cinematic landscape dominated by Hollywood remakes, Ghost In The Shell director Rupert Sanders’ upcoming resurrection of the tale — featuring Bill Skarsgård and FKA Twigs as Draven and his lost love — has been met with some trepidation.

But, as Sanders tells to Empire in our world-exclusive Rings Of Power Season 2 issue, his reimagining is not the “Hollywood remake” people may be expecting. “There’s nothing to do with Hollywood in this movie at all,” says Sanders, “it’s a very scrappy indie movie.” In fact, it’s precisely due to swerving a more conventional blockbuster approach to O’Barr’s source material that Sanders and his collaborators have found themselves “able to remain close to the centre and the darkness and the violence that’s in the graphic novel”. As the director explains, “The only reason we could do that is because it’s not a studio movie.”

Now, straying from the studio path isn’t without its fair share of challenges. Sanders’ The Crow’s $50 million budget barely touches your average MCU movie, and during shooting the filmmaker could often be found getting stuck in on set, drawing in Eric’s sketchbooks and throwing fake blood around to get the job done. For Sanders, the budgetary restraints have only made his film — and filmmaking — better. “You have to be more adept at making things more efficiently, that are emotionally resonant, and not just spectacle,” he reflects.

And, amidst an unsteady box office climate at present, the director sees potential for more movies like his version of The Crow to break through. “I really hope we’re in for another kind of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls period of having to make these more down-and-dirty films that still feel like big epic movies [but] are weirder and stranger,” shares Sanders. Here’s hoping his The Crow takes flight for a whole new generation.

The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Season 2 – Empire covers

Read Empire’s full The Crow feature – speaking to Rupert Sanders, Bill Skarsgård, FKA Twigs and more about bringing the gothic fable back to life – in The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Season 2 issue, on sale Thursday 4 July. Pre-order a copy now – choose the Galadriel cover or the Sauron cover. The Crow comes to UK cinemas from 23 August.

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