Hollywood ran out of ideas a long time ago. Even Christopher Nolan’s brilliant film, Inception, is stolen from a Scrooge McDuck cartoon (look it up.) So it should be no surprise that movies that shouldn’t be remade keep getting greenlit. The next atrocity on the list, Alex Proyas’ cult classic, The Crow.
Relativity Media announced they have hired Alex Tse, the screenwriter of The Watchmen, to draft a reboot of Brandon Lee’s final film, The Crow. The original, released in 1994, was a retelling of a truly classic graphic novel created by James O’Barr, which you owe it to yourself to own as it is one of the single best examples of the medium available (pretend all of the subsequent Crow tales were never released, because they’re terrible.)
I love the original movie, despite it’s heavy flaws (and there are a lot of them). The tragedy of Brandon Lee’s death during filming has turned it into an untouchable cult classic. I have no doubt that Alex Tse can write a better screenplay from O’Barr’s source material. I also have no doubt that Bradley Cooper, also recently announced to be attached, can do a competent job of playing the main character, Eric Draven. My concern is how hard it is to accept this remake as anything other then a slap in the face of Brandon Lee’s legacy.
It’s true that actors do not timelessly embody their characters, no matter how good they are. Case in point, while Heath Ledger’s legendary Joker won him a posthumous Oscar and forever murdered any love we had for Nicholson’s depiction of the character, I have no doubt there will eventually be a new Joker in some reboot of the series decades from now (or considering how inspirationally bankrupt Hollywood is, maybe we’ll see a new Joker in five years ala Spiderman.) But the Joker and Eric Draven are separate beasts. Brandon Lee so perfectly embodies the character of Eric Draven that it is impossible for me to even consider accepting Bradley Cooper in the same role. While I can’t defend my thoughts on this, and I honestly hope that this reboot is well made because James O’Barr’s haunting tale deserves to be retold, I still have to concede that I fall squarely on the side of the righteous fanboys who refuse to let their cult classics be reborn. Remaking The Crow makes me sad, and it makes me mourn Brandon Lee all over again. It’s like their killing him twice. I know that is ridiculously melodramatic, but I’m a fan of The Crow, so clearly I have deep seeded emotional issues.
What are your thoughts? Should Hollywood step back from this, or are all 15+ year old movies up for grabs in the remake game? Is it melodramatic to mourn Brandon Lee’s death all over again?
And one last thing…. If the Emo kids start to glom onto The Crow I might need to start hurting people. This character belongs to the Goths, let them hold onto to SOMETHING for crying out loud!!