Blast from the past

Just some useless (but fun) facts about The Crow


Oh, first things first. The long awaited and reported reboot of The Crow might see the light of the day. SONY picked up the distribution rights for the long staled reboot, and it looks like the movie is about to happen after all. The Crow reboot already lost several production teams, directors and actors for the lead role (including Jason Momoa and Jack Houston) but after all the confusion there is a little hope for the project.Initial reports about the movie, suggest that is aiming to be a more faithful adaptation of the original graphic novel written by James O’Barr, but nothing concrete has been confirmed about the plot.

The original 1994 The Crow movie was directed by Alex Proyas and had Brandon Lee in the lead role, that of Eric Draven, but was marked with tragedy with the untimely and sudden death by Lee from an accidental gunshot wound on the set. Lee had completed most of the scenes and was scheduled to be in production for just 3 more days till completion.  Lee’s stunt double Chad Stahelski was used as a stand-in and CGI was used to digitally superimpose Lee’s face onto the head of the double. The beginning of the movie, which had not been finished, was rewritten, and the apartment scene remade using computer graphics from an earlier scene of Lee.  The Crow earned just over 50 million dollars at the box office, was well-received critically for its unique visual style, premise, emotional depth and-attained a strong cult following since.

But what is more to be known about The 1994’s The Crow? Here are some awesome facts about the cult movie that is getting a reboot.

Brandon Lee died during a mishap on the set. A scene required a gun to be loaded, cocked, and then pointed at the camera. Because of the close-range of the shot, the dummy cartridges loaded had real brass caps, bullet, but no powder. After the cut, the props master (not the arms master – he had left the set for the day) dry-fired the gun to get the cock off, knocking the projectile/bullet into the barrel of the gun. The next scene to be filmed involving that gun was the rape of Shelly. The gun was loaded with blanks (which usually contain double or triple the powder of a normal cartridge to make a loud noise). Lee entered the set carrying a bag of groceries containing an explosive blood pack. The script called for Funboy (Michael Massee) to shoot Eric Draven (Lee) as he entered the room, triggering the blood pack. The bullet that was stuck in the barrel was blasted at Lee through the bag he was carrying, killing him. The footage of his death was subsequently developed and used as evidence in the investigation into his death. As part of the lawsuit settlement, the footage was later destroyed. Lee is the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, who died in mysterious circumstances before completing Game of Death (1978). See also Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993).

Although he was not at fault for the death of Brandon Lee, Michael Massee stopped acting for a year because he was so traumatized by the incident. He had never seen the film.

Director Alex Proyas originally wanted to shoot the entire movie in “black and white” closer to the comics and only using color in Draven’s flash backs scenes with high contrast theme, but the studio executives didn’t allow him to experiment with approach. This made Proyas shoot much of the movie in a monochromatic color theme mixed with red and dark gray.

Originally Funboy (Michael Massee) was not supposed to fire a gun at Brandon Lee’s character (which ultimately led to Lee’s death). It was changed at the last minute by director, Alex Proyas.

In 2005, 12 years after the accidental shooting of Brandon Lee, Michael Massee (who fired the gun) claimed to still have nightmares of the incident.

According to Empire Magazine, cocaine abuse was rampant on set, with cameramen shooting whilst high, crew going into the toilets to snort between shots, and people cutting around. One crewmember recalls hearing the sound of a sneeze on the set one day, and an annoyed Brandon Lee quipping “someone just lost $50”.

In his bluray commentary, Alex Proyas said that Brandon Lee was unhappy with the way his face makeup looked when the make-up department applied it to him before shooting. Lee and Proyas then agreed that it would look best if Lee applied his own makeup every night before going to bed so that when he woke up his face paint would naturally look more worn out.

Even though the movie, based on the comic, is called ‘The Crow’ none of the birds used in the film were actually crows. All of them were in fact Ravens, which are much larger than crows and have a longer more impressive beak.

Cameron Diaz was offered the role of Shelly, but turned it down because she didn’t like the script.

The Crow is the favorite movie of Dwight Schrute on The Office.


Leave a reply