The Crow Remake Is Already Changing A Big Part Of The 1990s Movie’s Story
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The Crow Remake Is Already Changing A Big Part Of The 1990s Movie’s Story


  • The Crow remake is adding more backstory to Eric & Shelly, potentially changing the original dark tone and themes.
  • Director Rupert Sanders is focusing on a dark romance between Eric & Shelly, adding a new layer to the story.
  • While more insight into their relationship could make their deaths more tragic, it also risks humanizing The Crow too much.



The Crow remake is already making a bold move regarding one of the most important aspects of the original film. Based on the 1989 comic book of the same name by James O’Barr, The Crow sees musician Eric Draven who, along with his girlfriend Shelly, is murdered by a ruthless gang before being resurrected by a mysterious crow. Although set photos for The Crow remake show Bill Skarsgård as Eric / The Crow and FKS Twigs as Shelly, little is known regarding The Crow remake‘s cast, story, or how much of the source material the new movie will remain faithful to.

While initial reactions to The Crow remake are polarizing, to say the least, the unique direction that the reboot’s filmmakers are taking the aesthetic in suggests that the overall tone and feel of the remake will be distinct and somewhat original. However, there is one crucial element of the original movie that the reboot looks like it will change that would completely change the story. Whether audiences appreciate The Crow reboot’s story change remains to be seen, but it has interesting implications for the upcoming superhero movie.

The Crow Remake Is Adding More Of Eric & Shelly’s Backstory

The 1994 version only provided glimpses into Eric and Shelly’s relationship via flashbacks.

Although the specific details aren’t yet available, it seems The Crow reboot will delve deeper into the relationship that Eric and Shelly had prior to being brutally murdered in cold blood. The revelation is a big departure from the original film, as audiences were only provided glimpses into the life that Eric and Shelly had via a series of brief flashbacks. The decision to subdue Eric and Shelly’s relationship worked well for the 1994 version’s overall dark dreamlike tone and themes of loss, but putting a spotlight on their relationship can improve the remake’s storytelling for a few reasons.

While speaking with Vanity Fair, The Crow remake’s director Rupert Sanders briefly elaborated on his intentions with the greater focus on Eric and Shelly’s romance, saying, “What drew me to this was the opportunity to make a dark romance, something that dealt with loss, grief, and the eternal veil between life and death and reaching through that.”

Sanders’ comments already indicate a substantially different direction in which his version will take the story, as he’s described the remake as a “dark romance.” Although the Brandon Lee version of The Crow had romantic elements as briefly seen with Eric and Shelly’s relationship, the movie was ostensibly a superhero revenge movie with supernatural elements and a pulpy, gothic noir aesthetic. While The Crow‘s premise does lend itself to a greater emphasis on the romance shared between Eric and Shelly, it runs the risk of negatively impacting the overall framework of the story.

The Crow Remake’s Added Backstory May Backfire

The added backstory could take away much of the mystique that contributed to The Crow’s legacy.

Bill Skarsgård as Eric Draven and FKA Twigs as Shelly hangout at a bonfire in The Crow.

While The Crow‘s cult-classic status was built off the back of its intense visuals, moody characters, and unique take on the superhero genre, arguably its greatest strength lies in the fact that Eric Draven is a fairly mysterious man. Aside from knowing that he was an underground musician and was indeed in a living relationship with Shelly, audiences don’t really learn more about him in the first movie. Everything else that viewers learn about the supernatural vigilante is demonstrated during his post-Eric Draven life, which easily makes him one of the more endearing, mysterious antihero types.

Revealing too much of Eric’s past life might not blend well tonally, assuming that he will be as happy with Shelly in the remake as he was in the original. Humanizing The Crow could be jarring considering the brutal ways he exacts revenge on those who murdered him and Shelly. The Crow works so well largely due to Eric feeling like a force of nature with the sole purpose of ridding the world of evil. While making that character more human and less supernatural is risky, it could also work.

Why The Crow Remake’s Added Backstory Could Still Work

Learning more about Eric and Shelly could make their untimely deaths feel more tragic.

Bill Skarsgård as The Crow puts on a leather jacket in The Crow.

The Crow remake’s decision to provide more context regarding Eric and Shelly’s life could prove successful because it would effectively make it easier for audiences to connect with them on a more intimate level. While Eric and Shelly were both likable in the original, viewers unfamiliar with the comic books might not have truly grasped the tragic nature of their situation beyond a surface-level understanding of murder. By spending time developing the two as fully realized characters and demonstrating their love through their actions more than just their words, The Crow could develop its own unique appeal.

While Sanders’ track record with remakes isn’t great, considering the poor performance of his Ghost in the Shell remake, he can redeem himself with his risky decision to develop Eric and Shelly’s romance beyond the typical boy meets girl trope. With Skarsgård in the lead and his body of work already speaking volumes to his range, it’s possible he’ll add a sensitivity to Eric that works incredibly well for pre-Crow Eric. FKA Twigs has already demonstrated through her artistry a unique approach to female representation, so The Crow could benefit from more romance.

The Crow

Based on the comic series, The Crow is a supernatural-action film that follows a murdered musician who returns from the dead for vengeance. Eric Draven and his fiancee are murdered during a violent home invasion – but supernatural forces have other plans for Draven. Resurrected by the power of a mysterious crow, the now superpowered Draven takes on the mantle of “The Crow” and seeks revenge against the entire gang that killed him and his wife.

Alex Proyas

Release Date
May 13, 1994

Dimension Films

102 Minutes

Source: Vanity Fair

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