Wizard World Tulsa: James O’Barr Talks About Writing Crow Reboot

The Crow
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With The Crow being one of my all-time favorite films, it is disheartening to know that there are plans to reboot the franchise. Sure, the sequels ranged from barely above average (The Crow: Salvation) to abominable (The Crow: Wicked Prayer), but that first movie was damn near perfect and doesn’t need rebooted.

I have changed my mind.

At the Wizard World Tulsa Comic Con, the creator of The Crow, James O’Barr, was in attendance and he not only supports the new movie, but he is helping to write the script for The Crow reboot. That right there is all it took to change my opinion of the project.

O’Barr opened the discussion by saying how much he loved the first Crow movie and he said that he was completely against remaking that film. He called the film “Brandon’s movie,” referring to star Brandon Lee, who died while making the film. When he learned they were rebooting the franchise, he did everything he could to stop them.

When Relativity gained the rights to the franchise, they hired Javier Gutiérrez to direct the film and he called O’Barr and said he wanted to talk about the movie. O’Barr accepted the invitation because he wanted to tell Gutiérrez all the reasons not to do it. He even pointed out that every director who made a sequel to Brandon Lee’s The Crow never made another movie in America.

After listening to O’Barr’s argument, Gutiérrez simply said that he wasn’t interested in remaking Brandon Lee’s movie. He wanted to adapt James O’Barr’s comic book. The got O’Barr’s attention, as he said there were a lot of things he had in his book that was left out of the original movie, since it was a $10 million low budget action movie.

He agreed to give them his blessing to make The Crow reboot as long as he had the same rights he had in the first movie – approval on casting and the music soundtrack. Together, O’Barr and Gutiérrez looked at actors they were considering for the role of Eric and the photos of the actors in makeup. They both chose the same person – Luke Evans.

When Luke Evans called James O’Barr and asked for his blessing before taking the role, that was another positive in The Crow reboot experience.

Even cooler is that they are making the movie using 70s film stock, making it look dirty like the comics and it will be more of an art house effort, using black and white on occasion and technicolor in other places. The movie will also include the more abstract ideas in the book, such as the Crow actually talking to Eric.

More good news is that James O’Barr is helping with the script and the screenwriter is none other than Cliff Dorfman, the writer who wrote the amazing MMA movie Warrior. The team they have assembled is amazing and if O’Barr can pull off another coup with the soundtrack, we might have a Crow reboot that is worth getting excited about.

Does this make you more excited about the upcoming new Crow reboot? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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About the Author

Shawn S. Lealos
Shawn is a film critic with over 25 years of experience in print and online media. He is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and loves everything from critically acclaimed movies to B-level action flicks.
  • Guest

    Good article. The Crow is one of my top comics of all time. It’s a well written, emotionally driven story that readers can relate to. And it made a great film the first time around. Brandon Lee was perfect. The sequels were tripe. I am encouraged by the lengths and depths it sounds like the filmmakers are embracing for this reboot. I am hopeful for Luke Evans. It is also inspirational to see someone Mr. O’Barr publish this work underground and be appreciated for his talent and art. I remember when I first picked up The Crow. I had seen no big ad campaign, no marketing, nothing about the book at all before I picked it up and was amazed by the talent and emotion that flowed off the page. Thanks to Mr. O’Barr for sharing this part of his life with us, thanks for creating The Crow, and thanks for being a part of this reboot. It wouldn’t be The Crow without him.

  • Blindside

    Good article. The Crow is one of my top comics of all time. It’s a well written, emotionally driven story that readers can relate to. And it made a great film the first time around. Brandon Lee was perfect. The sequels were tripe. I am encouraged by the lengths and depths it sounds like the filmmakers are embracing for this reboot. It is also inspirational to see someone Mr. O’Barr publish this work underground and be appreciated for his talent and art. I remember when I first picked up The Crow. I had seen no big ad campaign, no marketing, nothing about the book at all before I picked it up and was amazed by the talent and emotion that flowed off the page. Thanks to Mr. O’Barr for sharing this part of his life with us, thanks for creating The Crow, and thanks for being a part of this reboot. It wouldn’t be The Crow without him.

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