Corin Hardy’s remake of the 90’s gothic classic The Crow has run into casting trouble again. Jack Huston (American Hustle) who was set to play the lead role of Eric Draven, has had to drop out weeks before filming begins due to a scheduling conflict. Huston is yet another leading actor to exit the feature after Luke Evans was replaced in March.
This is just the latest in a succession of casting problems. Four years ago Bradley Cooper was set to play Draven, apparently the role has also been offered to James McAvoy, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Walberg and Channing Tatum before Evans and Huston. It is not just leading actors that have proved difficult to secure, F. Javier Gutiérrez was the original director attached to the project but he dropped out after being offered The Ring 3D. Now Corin Hardy (The Hallow) is at the helm and facing just as many setbacks.
The Crow is an adaption of a graphic novel by James O’Barr about a crime victim brought back to life by a magical crow, to seek revenge for his murdered fiance. The original film was made in 1994 with Alex Proyas directing and starring Brandon Lee who tragically died due to an accident while filming. The film became a cult classic, enhanced by the intrigue of the controversial death of Lee, the son of martial arts icon Bruce Lee.
The new version is said to be truer to the story told within the novel, aside from the interesting gender swap of the main villain Top Dollar who will be played by Andrea Riseborough. No doubt the cult following of the original will be raging about the mayhem involved with this remake, how can quality and authenticity be achieved when so many changes occur with key factors such as directors and again, no Eric Draven.
Old fans will need to be behind this feature for it to truly succeed and without someone who can confidently step into the shoes of beloved Brandon Lee to reassure them, that seems unlikely at this point. It does beg the question, if you can’t do something well, why do it at all? Is this going to be another pointless remake of a horror classic that without the context of its time and contemporary appeal, becomes a quickly forgotten example of commercial greed? Did anyone say Carrie (2014) or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003).
It has also been announced that Forest Whitaker is in talks to play a small role, his gravitas would certainly boost this movie’s flagging reputation but Whitaker is also in talks for Star Wars Anthology movie Rogue One. If it came down to a choice between these roles due to scheduling, Rogue One would surely win. The Crow will need to secure someone amazing as its leading man to save it from bad press and the threat of mediocrity at this point, but so close to filming and with so many quality actors having turned it down, it doesn’t look good.
Perhaps Cliff Dorfman’s script just isn’t very good? Perhaps all these actors are put off by the ‘Brandon Lee curse’! Apparently Relativity Studios are now trying to tempt British actors Nicholas Hoult and Jack O’Connell into the role. It will be interesting to see if either of these two talents will show an interest or be put off by the many issues Relativity have faced with it so far.