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James O’Barr talks about The Crow movie

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james-obarr-crow-2012ames O’Barr is the man behind The Crow comic book. The original film with Brandon Lee is 20 years. Did I blink? Where did that time go?

It was a great film while the sequels were not. A new version of The Crow has been in development for a long time, but not many people seemed that interested in it.

The latest news has Luke Evans attached to play Eric andJavier Guiterrez will direct.

However, O’Barr has been speaking about the new version and it may well be worth our while checking it out.

First of all O’Barr spoke about the reason he original wrote The Crow.

When I was 18, my fiancé was killed by a drunk driver, and I was hurt, frustrated, angry. I wanted justice, I wanted peace, and by putting pen to paper I hoped maybe I’d get it out of my system – it didn’t but that’s another story. It actually took me a decade before I ever got it published with Caliber Comics, but I was doing it for myself. Over the years though, a lot of my fans tell me how it helped them cope or how they read it when they were in a dark place, and it means a lot to me. The Crow was born of my pain and tragedies, if it can help people through theirs, I’m glad to have done so. The heart of The Crow has always been the same: Pain and grief, no matter how bad, are temporary. Love is forever.A lot of it just had to do with things I enjoyed at the time, that I still enjoy, Joy Division, Edgar Allen Poe, even the fact The Crow itself is in many ways a more violent Gothic romance. To see that it connected with people the way it did, to see references to The Crow on TV shows like The Office or Robot Chicken, much less to see it talked about as an era-defining classic, it’s still unreal to me that The Crow‘s almost become a right-of-passage.

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He also talked about the original film and working with Brandon Lee.

It’s really incredible looking back at just what a small, personal film it was. There’s less than six seconds of CGI in the entire movie, it cost just $10 million to make, which is simply incredible given how the movie looks visually. Just lots of little touches – director Alex Proyas did absolutely brilliant work with miniatures in the movie, he used radio controlled cars or helicopters in certain scenes. It may have been made on a shoestring, but everyone involved gave 100%.At the time I remember thinking “Wow, this is Bruce Lee’s son!” but he was so much more than that. The level of physicality and charisma he brought to the role was amazing to witness, it’s still amazing to watch today. Not a lot of people realize just how hard he worked – he did all of his own fight choreography and nearly all of his own stunts, the only thing he didn’t do was falling off buildings because they wouldn’t let him. That’s without even talking about his performance – he brought the right mix of humor, pain and menace to the role.

I have to agree with him. Lee was amazing in the role. It was so sad that he passed away during the making of the film.

So what about the new version of The Crow. It looks like O’Barr was initially against the idea, but he has come around to it.

No one was more against a remake than I was. While I own the rights to the comics and the characters, the studios owned the film rights, so all those god-awful sequels they made, I got paid for them, but I never wanted anything to do with them. It was the same way initially with the production on this remake – I’m sure you know a lot of the early rumors from a few years back, it looked like a fiasco. Fans were angry, rightfully so in my opinion, and so was I.Guiterrez told me ‘I don’t want to remake that film, that film is perfect as it is. I want to do your book, literally page-for-page adaptation.’ That’s what changed by mind, that it’s not a remake of the original film, or cashing in on the cult status of Brandon Lee, it’s that Guiterrez wants to go back to the source material, which if you’ve read the book and seen the film, while the movie has the right feel and the right flavor of the book, probably only 40% of the book made it into the movie.

That got me intrigued – the idea of adapting it from page 1 and going from there, including a lot of the darker or stranger elements of the comic dropped from the original film.

We’re not remaking the movie, we’re readapting the book. My metaphor is that there is a Bela Lugosi Dracula and there’s a Francis Ford Coppola Dracula, they use the same material, but you still got two entirely different films. This one’s going to be closer to Taxi Driver or a John Woo film, and I think there’s room for both of them – part of the appeal of the Crow comics after all is that they can tell very different stories after all.

That has definitely peaked my interest. Like O’Barr, I didn’t want a remake, but the fact they are going back to the source means that maybe, just maybe, this could be one to watch.

Source: Korsgaard’s Commentary

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