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After years of lingering in development hell, progress on The Crow reboot has moved quickly over the last several months. Luke Evans was forced to drop out of playing the protagonist Eric Draven in January, but he was quickly replaced by Jack Huston. Unfortunately for fans, although the film has begun pre-production in Wales under the watchful eye of director Corin Hardy, it just suffered a major setback with Huston exiting the film.
According to Variety, the Boardwalk Empire star has been forced to drop out of The Crow due to scheduling issues. While the article didn’t specify what these issues are, Huston is starring in next year’s remake of Ben-Hur, which is currently filming in Italy, so that may have something to do with his departure. Fortunately for The Crow’s creative team, they already have their eye on two possible replacements for the role once played by Brandon Lee in the original 1994 film.
Candidate #1 is Nicholas Hoult, most notable for playing Hank McCoy, a.k.a. Beast, in X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Hoult is currently filming X-Men: Apocalypse (which is expected to be his last appearance as the furry blue mutant), so if The Crow is looking for an actor to start right away, he might not be the best choice. That said, if the scheduling works out, Hoult’s comic book work background certainly gives him an edge, though admittedly, this project is much darker and drearier than the X-Men films.
The second candidate is Jack O’Connell, whose work includes 300: Rise of an Empire and the UK TV series Skins (which Hoult also starred in). O’Connell recent portrayal Louis Zamperini in the film Unbroken was positively received by many critics, so he can bring the necessary chops to breathe life into Draven, a rock star who returns from the dead to exact vengeance on the criminals who killed his fiancée. In either Hoult or O’Connell’s case, leading this film will undoubtedly boost their profile among general moviegoers.
Whoever takes Huston’s place, he’ll appear alongside Jessica Brown Findlay, who plays Draven’s tragic love interest, Shelly Webster, and a female version of lead villain, Top Dollar, with Andrea Riseborough being looked at to play the character. The Variety article also noted that Relativity Studios is looking to bring Forest Whitaker on for an undisclosed role, so whenever The Crow hits theaters, it sounds like it’s going to have an impressive cast. We’ll keep you updated on which of these men eventually scores the role or if other actors are put on the candidate list.