Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The many lives of Eric Draven

In 1994 James O’Barr’s The Crow was brought to life on screen. It is one of my favorite movies. The mythology O’Barr created is tailor made for a movie franchise. The fact that “sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right” means that you can have a new story, with a new character, and a new world to explore every time. It is a good theory. It just has not worked so well so far.

The various The Crow comic series have brought the stories of different people and different takes on what is now the iconic face paint of Eric Draven. It makes sense. Different person so different design. Each different but still recognizable as part of the mythology. Unfortunately, all the films have in a way, attempted to bring Eric Draven back to life. They are different characters, but they all have the same face paint.

The second film, City of Angels, had it’s moments but somehow it did not live up to the original. I have not seen the TV series, Stairway to Heaven, so I can’t comment on it. Salvation was again, a different character, but went back to the original formula of a guy and a girl who die a tragic death and he comes back to punish the wicked who killed them. It has been a long time since I first saw it so the details are a bit fuzzy, but it just didn’t work. I remember more of the third sequel, Wicked Prayer, but I kind of wish I didn’t. Again, guy, girl, tragic death, etc. For me, it was just a mess. I think they tried too hard or maybe they didn’t try enough and just banked on the cult status of the name to get people to watch. It’s sad in that it had a pretty decent cast.

On December 14, 2008, it was announced that a “reinvention” of The Crow was in the works. I’m not sure what needs reinventing since each story is a new character every time, but that’s Hollywood I guess. But the following statement makes me nervous. "The original 1994 Crow film holds a special place in my heart. The current film is a 'reinvention' of James O'Barr's graphic novel for the 21st century. We're thrilled to have teamed with director Javier GutiĆ©rrez and screenwriter Jesse Wigutow on this story, which remains true to the core of Eric Draven's plight for revenge. Giving too much away wouldn't be any fun. 'Disorder, chaos, anarchy — now that's fun!'" This was said by the Current Producer, Edward R. Pressman. It has been through a few different directors and lead actors with more being thrown in the mix.

Without actually seeing or hearing anything concrete about the latest film, I can’t simply write it off. Not yet anyway. There is still a chance it could be good. I have my doubts, but it’s possible. I just wish they would let Eric Draven rest in peace. There are other tales to tell. And not all of them have to be about men either.

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