Bradley Cooper Exits Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's The Crow Reboot
08.16.11 by BJSprecher
Relativity Media's planned "reinvention" (read: reboot) of The Crow franchise has had a difficult time taking flight (excuse the pun). The project was first announced back in December 2008, with Stephen Norrington (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) attached to write and direct, but Norrington departed after an unnamed star requested a new script from a new writer. Relativity then hired Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) to direct, with plans to go into production in the fall with Bradley Cooper playing the lead role of Eric.
Before The Crow could progress, however, The Weinstein Company requested an injunction against the reboot, claiming that they owned the worldwide distribution rights to The Crow. When a judge ruled that the case would have to go to arbitration, Relativity was free to continue with the reboot and hired Alex Tse (Watchmen) to write a new script. Now, The Crow's wings have been clipped yet again. According to THR, Cooper has exited the movie "due to scheduling conflicts."
When Norrington was still involved with The Crow, he described his take as "realistic, hard-edged and mysterious, almost documentary-style," versus Alex Proyas' vision in the 1994 original, which he called "gloriously Gothic and stylized." Since Fresnadillo and Tse took over, nothing has been revealed about the plot or even the tone of the movie, though it is expected to closely follow the original graphic novel by creator James O'Barr.
Since originally being published in 1989 by Caliber Comics, The Crow has grown from cult status to international best-seller. The story revolves around Eric and Shelly, a pair of young lovers who fall victim to a gang of street thugs. Eric is shot and paralyzed and then forced to watch as the gang beats and rapes Shelly. They both die on the side of the road, but Eric is brought back to life by a mystical crow to seek vengeance upon the murderers.
The loss of Cooper is a major hit to the movie, but Relativity is apparently already lining up replacements. According to THR, the short list includes Channing Tatum and Mark Wahlberg, who was actually offered the role last year, before Cooper was attached. It's unclear whether Relativity is already in talks with Tatum and Wahlberg or if any other actors are being considered. However, with Relativity eager to shoot in the first quarter of 2012, Cooper's replacement should be decided upon soon.