The pinnacle of Alex Proyas’ career as a filmmaker is his 1994 adaptation of the James O’Barr graphic novel The Crow. Of course, Proyas’ two most recent films, Knowing and Gods of Egypt, might seem to indicate that he’s given up topping himself, but that hasn’t stopped others from trying to top his version of The Crow. That is at least until recently when it looked like the rights holders had finally given up on trying to remake the supernatural revenge tale earlier this year. Gone, but not forgotten, one of the many directors on the project recently talked about what could have been with his version of The Crow.
While talking to Forbes, Rings director F. Javier Gutiérrez discussed how his Crow, which he still may end up executive producing someday, was going to cost $40 million and was definitely going to be R-Rated.
“With The Crow, I haven’t talked to them in a while so I don’t know what is going on with that, but we are going to do an R-rated movie” Gutierrez said. “I come from Europe, I’m very dark so I’m going to go for it. If any movie has to be R-rated then it’s The Crow. That’s how I got James O’Barr, the creator of The Crow, involved in the project because he said that if R-rated is the way that I wanted to go, he’s in.
“Even though I’m not directing it now, when I was going to be doing that I explained to the producers that they had to read and understand the comic book and not make the film a PG-13 version because it would make no sense. Some movies are for young people, I get it and maybe you can do it, but this movie is not necessarily for those young people and toning it down would give you a ghost of what The Crow should be.”
For comparison’s sake, the original Crow had a budget of $23 million, which is a little over $38 million in today’s dollars, so it doesn’t seem Gutierrez was that far off the mark in terms of knowing what it takes financially to make the film. R-rating? Sure, that makes sense too. We are, after all, talking about the story of a musician and his fiancee who are brutally killed by a gang of thugs only for the musician to return from the dead one year later to extract a brutal revenge.
What’s missing, and perhaps this is related to why several different directors and actors have failed to get to this project before the cameras over the years, is a reason why to do this, is there a reason to remake The Crow aside from the name cache and because they can? Let’s get O’Barr’s opinion from 2013. “I don’t have great expectations,” he told Comic Book Resources. “I think the reality is, no matter who you get to star in it, or if you get Ridley Scott to direct it and spend $200 million, you’re still not gonna top what Brandon Lee and Alex Proyas did in that first $10 million movie.”