After a decade between multimedia appearances, the task of getting a new film adaptation of “The Crow” made seems to be has challenging as any of the dead vigilante’s adventures. Over the years, changes in directors, studios, and stars have delayed the revamp of what was once one of the first success stories in terms of transitioning a comic franchise to live action. As revealed today (August 3) by Comic Book Resources, the bankruptcy of “Relativity Media”, the studio producing the film, have put the entire project in jeopardy.
Citing the Hollywood Reporter as a source, Comic Book Resources noted that “Relativity Media” filed chapter 11 bankruptcy at the end of July. Apparently, work on pre-production on the film (such as set building, location shooting, costume designing, rewrites and so on) has stalled due to the plug being pulled on the larger studio. An entire production team has “left the project” alongside other studio heads due to the financial mess. An official statement from Relativity is expected soon, although the studio still hopes to begin filming by fall. It is set to be directed by Corin Hardy and star Jack Huston in the title role, and which seeks to be a more faithful adaptation of James O’Barr’s original comic series from 1989 than the original film from 1994 was. An unknown source from Relativity stated that the studio is still interested in “The Crow”, but it will remain to be seen if they can hang onto the property or keep up their schedule.
One could argue that “The Crow” was both a pioneer franchise for film and TV as well as a cautionary tale of such a franchise burning out from overuse. The original film from 1994 was a modest hit which earned cult status for many reasons, among them being the tragic death of star Brandon Lee during the film’s production. Two years later, a sequel, “The Crow: City of Angels” hit theaters and failed to turn much of a profit, prompting a shift towards the smaller screen from then on. From 1998 to 2005, a syndicated TV show (“The Crow: Stairway to Heaven”) and two additional direct-to-video sequels of diminishing quality (“The Crow: Salvation” and “The Crow: Wicked Prayer”) were produced, which seemed to grind down the franchise into pulp. Efforts to revive the film franchise have stalled over the years, which may seem ironic given the cult status of the original movie as well as the tragedy surrounding it. While James O’Barr can likely always use the credit and the royalties, reviving the Crow on film may be harder than it typically is in the comics themselves. O’Barr has continued to write stories about “The Crow” over the years for publishers such as Image Comics and currently, IDW Publishing.