People once believed that when a film dies before production, it would pass into the ether, never to return. This isn't the case for the long embattled remake of The Crow, which has hitched the first bird into production for next March.
After the sale of Relativity was concluded last month, it sounds like one of the first orders of business was to secure director Corin Hardy with a contract that limits him to work exclusively on the prolonged remake. With the rights almost reverting back to the hands of Edward R. Pressman, a producer of the original 1994 film, the newly revamped production house has taken steps to secure a March 2016 production start. This tactic prevents the rights from leaving, but that's as long as the cameras actually role when they say they will.
With three directors leaving the project before Hardy signed on, and several actors coming and going in the lead role of Eric Draven, The Crow seriously looked like it wasn't going to happen. Depending on who you talk to, this was either a good or bad idea, with a lot of folks falling on the "bad idea" side of the spectrum. So naturally, when we thought the film was going to die a natural death, you could imagine the fans of the Alex Proyas' original being ecstatic that justice was going to be served in their eyes.
That relief looks to be short lived though, as Relativity is undoubtedly shortlisting a group of actors they'll be looking to test for the lead role of Eric Draven, which was last slated to be filled by Jack Huston, until he left the project earlier this year. Still, considering the obstacles that more recently stood in the way of The Crow's production, trying to find a lead actor is practically a cakewalk when compared to Relativity's financial woes. Though if The Crow gets off the ground as The Wrap is reporting, and makes it into production and distribution for 2016, this could mean that there's hope for the rest of Relativity's catalog.
With several other films that are already in the can awaiting distribution, such as the Zach Galifanakis / Kristen Wiig comedy Masterminds, or even the Kate Bosworth horror thriller Before I Wake, The Crow's revival could be a sign of the studio' getting back into the swing of things as they were before the collapse. With the right distribution deals in place, the Relativity back catalog could make a profit that would go right back into producing a film that's allegedly spent over $7 million to merely exist without going in front of cameras.
It's been a long road for Relativity to be even considering the task of releasing another movie, much less make one from scratch. After months of woe after woe, the production of The Crow is nothing but a good omen for the studio. While remakes don't have the best track record in terms of quality, there's still an off chance that this could be one of those exceptions that makes the rule. While we're just as attached to the original as the fans are, we'll be extremely curious to see what becomes of Eric Draven in the 21st century.
The Crow goes into production in March 2016, with a release date to be determined.
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