Director Alex Proyas issues a passionate plea to stop the remake of The Crow

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Mar 27, 2021, 1:00 AM EDT (Updated)

The Crow — the 1994 Gothic masterpiece directed by Alex Proyas — is a very emotional film, not just because it deals with issues of grief and redemption, but because its star died tragically during filming.

Mere days before principal photography was set to end, actor Brandon Lee — who played Eric Draven, a man resurrected to seek vengeance on those who killed him and his fiancee — was mortally wounded by a malfunctioning gun during what was supposed to be his death scene. The cast and crew were, of course, devastated by the loss of Lee (the son of legendary kung fu star Bruce Lee), and fought through their grief to finish the film, using doubles and other techniques (there is one scene, for example, in which Lee's character doesn't speak and his face is almost always hidden). The film is dedicated to Lee's memory and to his own fiancee, Eliza.

That's very heavy stuff, and it comes into play when you consider the developing remake of The Crow, a film that's been through several director, star, and even distributor changes since it was announced. The film is currently set to be directed by Corin Hardy and star Justice League standout Jason Momoa. That might sound great to some fans, but for others, there's a strong feeling that The Crow shouldn't be rebooted, in part out of respect to Lee. Director Alex Proyas shares this view.

In an emotional Facebook post over the weekend, Proyas (whose also directed films like Dark City and I, Robot) essentially pleaded for a halt to the remake. His reasoning was that Lee was the driving force behind the film, and it wouldn't even merit consideration of a reboot if not for Lee's enthusiasm for the project. 

"THE CROW would not be a movie worth 'remaking' if it wasn’t for Brandon Lee," Proyas wrote. "If it wasn’t for Brandon you may never have even heard of this poignant little underground comic. It is Brandon’s movie. I believe it is a special case where Hollywood should just let it remain a testament to a man’s immense talent and ultimate sacrifice — and not have others re-write that story or add to it. I know sequels were made, and TV shows, and what have you, but the notion of 'rebooting' this story, and the original character — a character Brandon gave life to at too high a cost — seems wrong to me."

Hollywood is a land of creators, but it's also a land of businesspeople always looking for hot or memorable properties to mine for new hits. The Crow is certainly one such property, and a remake could both do very well at the box office and be a good movie if it ever gets made. Proyas' point is that the film is a special case, and that's a position many fans have also taken. The debate will likely go on right up until the reboot gets off the ground, and even continue after, but the most powerful point in Proyas' words is this: We all miss Brandon Lee.

You can read Proyas' complete remarks below. What do you think? Should The Crow remake still happen?