The Crow Needs to Be Left Alone

- Jesse Hudgins

by Jesse Hudgins

This year, we’ll be getting a new adaptation of The Crow, the first in 19 years. It’ll star Bill Skarsgard as Eric Draven (The Crow) as he takes revenge on the group that killed him and his fiancé Shelly, played by FKA Twigs. This is a project that has been stuck in development for many years with an adaptation in 2018 being worked on with Jason Mamoa set to star in the role as The Crow. On June 7, we’ll finally get this new adaptation of the Eric Draven story with a first trailer released on March 14. If this trailer is anything to go off, things aren’t looking good for fans of the character.

The trailer reveals the basic plot of the movie with Eric Draven and his fiancé Shelly Webster being murdered by a group for sticking their noses in places where they don’t belong, just for Eric to get revived by a crow to take revenge. The trailer reveals the deaths, the revival, and a lot of the action that will ensue in the movie, leaving very little to the imagination of the viewer. If you’re a fan of the classic 1994 movie starring Brandon Lee, or a fan of the comic written by James O’Barr, this is the basic premise, but everything else is different.

First, the design of the character is a modernization that looks like Jared Leto’s Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad. Covered in face tattoos and constantly having just a trench coat on with no shirt and more tattoos across the chest creates an entirely new design for the character. Next, the involvement that Shelly has with the murderers differs from both the comic and 1994 movie. In this iteration, Shelly is directly involved with the group of murderers, whereas the feeling of the original book is that the deaths of the couple were just wrong place, wrong time. In this, it’s very much like they stuck their noses in places they shouldn’t.

One of the things the trailer tells is that this movie will be heavily focusing on action with big action pieces, whereas the original movie only has one larger action piece with every other scene of action being isolated. It feels like the movie is marketing itself more as an action revenge film and not as much as an emotional revenge film. While it’s not a bad thing to deviate and try something new, where the team is getting it wrong is the usage of the character of Eric Draven. The character was originally written as a vessel for author James O’Barr while he was grieving the death of his fiancé, Beverly, and the story of The Crow is in a sense a fictionalized version of the story of O’Barr coming to terms with her death, for which he blamed himself. That’s something that was carried into the original version of the movie with O’Barr even being one of the writers on the film. This version of the character that the trailer portrays is the character by name alone.

Yes, things can change once the movie is out, but the trailer is supposed to tell the audience what to expect, and what the trailer shows is a new iteration of The Crow property, not a remake like what’s been reported. As a fan of the original comic series, this leaves me disappointed, especially as a fan of Bill Skarsgard’s acting. It leaves me deeply dissatisfied that like all other iterations after the 1994 film, this seems like it’ll fall short, further proving that this franchise should be left alone going forward.

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