Bradley Cooper has dropped out of Relativity’s remake of the 1993 comic book adaption The Crow. The blame has been placed on scheduling conflicts as Cooper is set to begin filming director Alex Proyas’s Paradise Lost early next year, which is the same time that Relativity hopes to have their project in front of cameras. (Ironically, Proyas was the director of the original version of The Crow which starred Brandon Lee.)
The Hollywood Reporter, who broke the story of Cooper’s departure, has also suggested that the studio is currently looking at either Channing Tatum or Mark Wahlberg as a possible replacement in the role of a murdered musician who returns from the dead to extract revenge on the criminals who killed himself and his fiancée. Wahlberg had been previously approached by relativity to star in this new version but he passed last fall.
But lack of a headliner may not be the only thing that stands in Relativity’s way of getting this project rolling. The studio is currently in arbitration with The Weinstein Co. over who owns the distribution rights to the finished product. Although The Weinstein Co. states that they have a deal in place to distribute the film, Relativity is arguing that they forfeited those rights for a variety of reasons including their handling of the Relativity-produced musical flop Nine.
Any remake of The Crow doesn’t really thrill me, but I will say that it is probably a good thing that Cooper is gone from the project. While the actor is quickly becoming a marquee name, his screen persona doesn’t strike me as anywhere close to the dark, brooding character from writer/artist James O’Barr’s original comic. The fact that Tatum and Wahlberg are both under consideration suggests that the studio and director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo might be going in a different direction, at least in terms of the physicality of the character.