The Crow Is Finally Getting The Upgrade It Desperately Needs

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Updated

the crow

Cinephiles and devotees of classic cult films marking the 30th anniversary of the iconic movie The Crow are in for some good news: Paramount has confirmed the much-anticipated release of the film in 4K. It’s hard not to get giddy about the concept of the dark fantasy action film enjoying modern technological wizardry it has long deserved. 

The Crow

the crow

The film debuted in 1994 and was a landmark work. The movie gripped moviegoers with its stellar, oh-so-dark aesthetic, engaging narrative, novel concept, and the unforgettable performance of its star, Brandon Lee, in his last role. Now, Brandon Lee enthusiasts will get to see his final work in unparalleled clarity and detail.

Alex Proyas directed The Crow, the same visionary behind I, Robot and Dark City (a fusion of fantasy, action, and horror similar to The Crow in many respects). The film has benefited from a robust and formidable legacy, evolving into a timeless fan favorite due to its atmospheric storytelling. 

The Reception To The Original Film

the crow

Critics and audiences—in 1994 and today—also relish its poignant exploration of love, loss, and vengeance. The movie features spectacularly original aesthetics, equal parts grunge and gothic, capturing the ’90s zeitgeist and featuring a fantastic antihero as its lead. 

The Story

A young rock guitarist, Eric Dravan (played by Lee), is at the center of The Crow (the film is itself based on the comic both written and drawn by James O’Barr). The movie begins with the brutal murder of Draven and his fiancée by a gang of savage criminals. However, unfortunately for the murderers, Draven is resurrected by an enigmatic crow, returning from beyond the grave to exact his revenge. 

Tragically, the role would be Brandon Lee’s last. The actor was fatally injured on set in a devastating accident. 

The original film’s production was, of course, marred by tragedy–the untimely death of Brandon Lee. Son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, Brandon Lee was fatally wounded by a prop gun on set. The horrendous incident cast a shadow over the film, lending it an aura of melancholy.

Lee’s performance in The Crow electrifies, viscerally conveying Draven’s pain and rage.

What To Expect

The film wonderfully blurs genres, involving fantasy, action, and horror, elements and fusing them into a singular blend. It also boasts a solid supporting cast featuring Michael Wincott, Ernie Hudson, and Rochelle Davis, among others. 

The Crow is a notably visual film, an aesthetic feast. Mention its name and the mind flashes immediately to the dramatic noir palette, Brandon Lee’s zombie-esque makeup and outfit (obviously influencing The Dark Knight’s version of the Joker, played unforgettably by Heath Ledger), and the rain, steam, shadows, and broken glass characterizing the film’s Detroit setting. Thus, the upcoming 4K release, with its level of immersion, is much-welcomed. The film’s artistry, groundbreaking visual effects, and hauntingly beautiful cinematography deserve the restoration. 

The Remake

If that were not enough, soon film fans will be treated to a modern remake directed by Rupert Sanders and featuring Bill Skarsgård as Eric Draven. The remake of The Crow will also involve musician/actor FKA Twigs and Jordan Bolger. Expect a fresh take on the narrative, advancing the franchise’s legacy while, hopefully, honoring the original film’s spirit.

More than a celebration of the film itself, we hope the 4K release functions as a tribute to Lee’s talent, legacy, and memory.