By Arturo R. García
Not that remaking a cult classic like The Crow isn’t already a bad idea, but casting Bradley Cooper as the lead? That wouldn’t help, to say the least.
The fan attachment behind the film has endured because of both Brandon Lee’s performance as resurrected rocker Eric Draven and his accidental death during filming, which eerily echoed the demise of his father, martial-arts and film icon Bruce Lee.
And make no mistake: Lee owned this role, and not just because of action sequences that took full advantage of his martial-arts skills. In his final on-camera interview, Lee understood the challenge ahead of him, describing the Draven character as “a role that you have to take risks with. It gives you a wonderful opportunity to take those risks and stretch, because, you tell me how somebody who comes back from the dead is gonna behave.”
Familiarity seems to be behind both Cooper’s rumored casting – he starred in Limitless for Relativity Media, the company behind the upcoming reboot – and the retelling of Draven’s story. The character is the most enduring avatar of The Crow in pop-culture: he was brought back for the short-lived syndicated tv show Stairway To Heaven, where he was played by Mark Dacascos; and in 1999, Draven’s story was revisited by Image Comics.
But it’s important to remember, as Lee did, that Eric Draven is just one person. In both the comic-book world and a series of novels, many others were chosen for their own missions of vengeance. There’s other stories Relativity could have gone to for inspiration, and possibly garnered a new star for its’ stable, rather than relying on Cooper. But the actors chosen below work well either as Draven or some of the other characters featured over the years.