James O’Barr gave birth to The Crow in his crudely-drawn comic series of the same name that debuted in 1989 (the character first appeared in “Caliber Presents #1”).
The hero is birthed on a night when Eric Draven and his fiancée, Shelly, are assaulted by a gang after their car breaks down. Eric is shot in the head and is paralyzed, and can only watch as Shelly is savagely beaten, raped, and shot in the head. They are then left for dead on the side of the road. Eric later dies in the hospital operating room while Shelly is DOA. He is then resurrected by a crow and seeks vengeance on the murderers, methodically stalking and killing them. (Wiki)
The story was adapted in 1994 for the big screen in Alex Proyas, with the late Brandon Lee starring as the title character. Three god-awful sequels were released and a remake has been in development hell for years. While it’s already been reported that the next film, The Crow Reborn, will star Jason Momoa (Aquaman) as the vengeful half-ghoul, O’Barr had pitched an idea for a sequel that was may more in line with social commentary in 2017.
Looking back at the three Crow sequels, the biggest issue is not only that the films are too similar, but that the character is as well. In fact, O’Barr wanted to see the next Crow be a woman who dies on the happiest day of her life…
“My intention was to take it to a completely different direction,” O’Barr told Screen Geek at the Los Angeles Comic-Con.
“So I wrote a story that was a based on a little incident that happened in Chicago about a woman who was killed at her wedding.
“I remember reading it in the paper and it was just a horrible tragedy. Some Irish gangsters tried to rob a main parish in Chicago where they held the collections, and they got lost coming down. They ended up in the middle of a wedding and one of the bride’s maid’s boyfriend, in the audience, was a cop and a big shootout started, church burnt down and 13 people were killed.
“That story always stuck with me and that day is supposed to be the happiest day in someone’s life and it couldn’t get more tragic than that.
“So my idea was ‘Okay, what if I take that scenario and call it The Crow: The Bride?’ and she comes back. It was super cool, she’s still wearing her wedding dress with barb wire and nails in her head.”
Here’s the kicker. When O’Barr pitches the story he was told, “Nah, we can’t make this. First of all, no one is going to see an action movie with a female lead.” He responded, ”If you do it right, it doesn’t matter if it’s about gender. It just has to be handled right.”
They declined and so, there’s the script as well as a bunch of illustrations for it over at Miramax since 1995. Interestingly, O’Barr notes his surprise when he saw Miramax’s Kill Bill in theaters years later. “About four or five years later this movie Kill Bill comes out and I’m sitting in the theater like… ‘This looks vaguely familiar!’ ”
For those who wish that Miramax had or would make a female-led The Crow there is a film worth checking out: Raven Banner’s awesome Avenged. Michael S. Ojeda directed the film about a deaf girl (Amanda Adrienne Smith) who is brutalized by a murderous gang who are then hunted by her when the bloodthirsty spirit of an Apache warrior inhabits her lifeless body.