So imagine you’re Stephen Norrington. You make a mildly entertaining little film called Death Machine about a battle-bot run amok, and three years later you release the kick-ass, franchise-starting Blade. It’s a big success, but instead of capitalizing on it you disappear from the directing scene. Three years pass and you return with a small, inventive, but ultimately confusing film called The Last Minute that few people see and fewer people enjoy. It’s time to return to Hollywood, and after your success with Blade you decide a second comic adaptation is ideal… and you spew The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen unto the world.
Do you think a remake of The Crow is your best shot at redemption?
Okay, enough imagining, Variety is reporting that Norrington has signed on to write and direct a remake of The Crow, a film best known for the death of star Brandon Lee. The original Alex Proyas film, also based on a comic, follows a murdered musician who returns from the dead to seek vengeance on the thugs who killed him and his girlfriend. It made almost $100 million at the worldwide box-office, and was followed by at least three sequels and a TV series.
Norrington sees The Crow a bit different from what people have come to expect. “Whereas Proyas’ original was gloriously gothic and stylized, the new movie will be realistic, hard-edged and mysterious, almost documentary-style,” he says.
But seriously now, The Crow was a success for two reasons, one of which he can’t recreate and one he’s choosing to ignore. The tragic death of Brandon Lee is reason number one. It created an aura of mystery, sadness, irony, and creepiness around the entire film, and people wanted to see it. Norrington probably won’t be killing his lead actor. Reason number two is the gothic sensibility of the film, as embodied by the soundtrack, the dyed hair and eyeliner, and the constant rain. Norrington is jettisoning all of that. Which makes me wonder why he didn’t just direct The Punisher instead…
What do you think of a non-goth remake of The Crow?