How The Crow Reboot Can Stop Itself From Sucking, In 7 Easy Steps

After years of teases and misfires, the seemingly impossible finally happened: the long awaited reboot of The Crow finally landed a home at Sony Pictures. This obviously has many fans of the property incredibly excited about what's on the horizon for this delightfully goth, undead hero, but it also raises a brand new conversation about getting the reboot right. On that note, we have compiled a handy dandy guide for how to reset this beloved comic book property -- as well as how to avoid making it suck in the process. Without further ado, let's dive in and talk this out.

The Crow Brandon Lee Eric Draven

1. Shoot For An R Rating

In a certain sense, one could argue that the original Crow film was ahead of its time. The PG-13 rating has remained the bread and butter of the comic book movie genre for decades, with movies like Deadpool only recently definitively proving that a studio can produce a bonafide blockbuster with a more restrictive rating. That's the only way that a reboot of The Crow will work; it needs to have far more in common with Logan than Wonder Woman. This is a world of darkness and blood, and it centers on an undead hero who stalks the streets with knives and guns, toys with his victims (who admittedly have it coming), and heals from massive injuries in a matter of seconds -- leaving only bloodstains in his wake. To neuter the universe of The Crow would be to neuter the character; the smarter option is to keep his R-rated charm, even if it means a lower budget.

The Crow Brandon Lee Eric Draven

2. Use Humor (When It Works)

Of course, even if The Crow reboot embraces its dark, R-rated tone, the film should still try to have some fun along the way. Despite its gothic atmosphere and overwhelmingly grim premise, the original Crow movie is quite a bit of fun -- with plenty of humor to boot. Even in the face of his quest for justice and his murder, Eric Draven remains one of the comic book movie genre's most charming heroes to ever grace the silver screen. Remember, this is a hero whose background is in the world of performing as a heavy metal musician. He knows how to entertain an audience, which means he can keep himself animated in the face of danger. That's one of the many reasons why the original installment in this franchise works so well, and that's one of the major factors that will make the reboot succeed if (and when) it finally materializes.

The Crow symbol flames

3. Don't Over-Explain The Mythology

We have become extremely accustomed to intensive backstories and origin tales that take up an entire film in modern comic book movies. That was the formula that hurled Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies to blockbuster success, and it was the core idea behind Marvel's Phase One movies. With such a modern emphasis on mythology and world building, it becomes easy to forget the fact that The Crow doesn't really explain the mythology of the character. We get a basic explanation of Eric Draven, his death, and his motivations when he returns from the grave, but the first Crow film shows an admirable amount of restraint with regards to how much it dives into the mythos of the character. For a dark and brooding character like this, that's the way to go. If we spend too much time talking about The Crow and what it ultimately means, then we will lose sight of the story's emotional core.

The Crow Brandon Lee Eric Draven

4. Cast Eric Draven Perfectly

Although other actors have stepped in to play the role of Eric Draven over the years, Brandon Lee remains inextricably linked to the character. Even though he only got to play the character once, his performance in The Crow is regarded by many fans of the franchise as the pinnacle of the anti-hero. If a reboot of this franchise is going to materialize at some point within the next few years, then casting cannot take a backseat to other aspects of development. This project needs someone with charm, menace, a sense of humor, and a believable physicality to take on the role. Aquaman actor Jason Momoa has been attached to the project off and on for years, and while he could potentially make a great Crow, the creative forces behind the reboot need to be careful and make sure they get the right man for the job.

The Crow Eric Draven Dead

5. Or Use A New Crow

Building off of that last idea, if a proper actor to portray Eric Draven cannot be found, then the studio is better off moving on from the character and finding a new central protagonist for The Crow altogether. The mythology of the universe establishes that the hero in the white paint doesn't necessarily need to be Eric Draven, so throwing some originality into the reboot by bringing in a new protagonist could help the new version of the classic property stand on its own two legs. This is not an uncommon trope in the world of comic books and superheroes, as everyone from Iron Man to Batman has passed down his or her mantle to a worthy successor at some point or another. By introducing a brand new version of The Crow, he (or she) could create something entirely new while still honoring the exploits of Eric Draven in the older stories.

The crow guitar scene

6. Embrace The Importance Of Music

One of the most distinctive aspects of The Crow series is its ample use of heavy metal music (typically performed by well-known artists) within its soundtracks, as well as Eric Draven's status as a famous heavy metal musician. In a world where films like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and the X-Men movies use music to inform the nature of their characters, it only makes sense for a reboot of The Crow to do the same. In that regard, the score and soundtrack for the upcoming Crow film shouldn't be an afterthought; it should incorporate a dark, rock and roll-centric sound that will instantly signify the return of the franchise. After all, if your hero doesn't stop to strum his guitar while his trusty crow companion explores the city and looks for trouble, then can you even call it an entry in The Crow franchise? I definitely don't think so.

The Crow movie poster

7. Don't Try To Force A Franchise

It's hard to deny the fact that we live in an era of filmmaking that has become defined by sequels and franchises, which means The Crow reboot will likely position itself to do the same. With that said, the folks behind this reboot need to take a page from franchises like The Mummy and The Amazing Spider-Man and remember not to put the cart before the horse. We're okay with The Crow reboot establishing an immersive world that's ripe for future storytelling (a la John Wick), but we want the first Crow movie in this newly rebooted universe to stand on its own merit before trying to lay too much groundwork for future installments. If we learned anything from summer 2017, it's that audiences can smell world building from a mile away, and they will often respond better to a well-assembled story with a neat beginning, middle, and end.

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.