1994's cult classic The Crow would be one of the few R-rated comic book adaptations to make waves during that decade. For comic book creator James O'Barr, it was the fulfillment of his work from the design phase all the way to the big screen.
But such was the irony of the dark world he had created, the star of the show Brandon Lee would be accidentally killed during production. With a reboot coming to recast Jason Momoa as Eric Draven, O'Barr told Screen Geek that a sequel was in the works shortly after the original's release, yet it would showcase a female lead to take The Crow mantle.
Miramax Told JO'B: Audiences Won't See A Female Action Lead
What O'Barr would describe was a tale that took inspiration from a real life tragedy and incorporate it into The Crow property.
"My intention was to take it to a completely different direction. So I wrote a story that was a based on a little incident that happened in Chicago about a woman who was killed at her wedding. I remember reading it in the paper and it was just a horrible tragedy. Some Irish gangsters tried to rob a main perish in Chicago where they held the collections, and they got lost coming down. They ended up in the middle of a wedding and one of the bridesmaid's boyfriend, in the audience, was a cop and a big shoot out started, church burnt down and 13 people were killed. That story always stuck with me and that day is supposed to be the happiest day in someone's life and it couldn't get more tragic than that. So my idea was 'Okay, what if I take that scenario and call it The Crow: The Bride?' and she comes back. It was super cool, she's still wearing her wedding dress with barb wire and nails in her head."
Despite O'Barr's insistence that the sequel would draw in plenty to see it at the box office, Miramax were adamant that a female lead could not work during the mid 90s. Even two decades prior, O'Barr could not make sense of it as history has made them look even more foolish and sexist since time has passed.
"I wrote out a treatment which is 16 pages, it tells you every plot point and tells you everything in the story, and they paid me for it. It was like $10,000, they said 'Nah, we can't make this. First of all, no one is going to see a action movie with a female lead.; And I was like, 'If you do it right, it doesn't matter if it's about gender. It just has to be handled right.' They declined and so, there's the script and I did a bunch of illustrations for it as well and they threw on the shelves at Miramax."
O'Barr Feels Sense of Deja Vu During Kill Bill Phase
If you think that wedding mass murder sounded familiar, it is because Quentin Tarantino took it and ran with it for his Kill Bill franchise. That was a bitter blow for O'Barr, but he channeled his frustration back into his art.
"I think it was '95," he recalled. "I think I wrote it at the end of '94. By the time it went through the lawyers and pressmen, it ended up in the dusty back room of Miramax. It was the end of '95 and about 4 or 5 years later this movie Kill Bill comes out and I'm sitting in the theater like, you know that meme with the guy? (O'Barr makes a shocked realization face). 'This looks vaguely familiar!' Mine didn't have any of the Kung-Fu nonsense. I mean it's the exact same story. They paid for it, so they had the right to do whatever they wanna' do with it. Like a couple of years ago, I dumped it out and thought, 'This is a good solid story.' So I decided to turn it into a graphic."
Sony's reboot of The Crow begins production in early 2018.
Source: Screen Geek