The Crow Alex Proyas condemns remake
Bill Skarsgård in THE CROW. Photo Credit: Larry Horricks for Lionsgate

Alex Proyas, director of the original 1994 movie The Crow starring the late Brandon Lee, is voicing his disapproval for Rupert Sanders’ new remake starring Bill Skarsgård.

Twenty-eight-year-old Lee, son of martial artist and actor Bruce Lee, tragically died while making the original The Crow. On March 31, 1993, Lee was fatally wounded during a scene that used a gun meant to contain only harmless blanks. A police investigation found that the gun was not properly checked, and when it was fired, the tip of a real bullet hit Lee in the abdomen.

The Crow Original Director Alex Proyas Speaks Out Against Remake

Proyas took to Facebook on Monday to share his thoughts following the release of the remake’s trailer last week.

“I really don’t get any joy from seeing negativity about any fellow filmmakers work. And I’m certain the cast and crew really had all good intentions, as we all do on any film. So it pains me to say any more on this topic, but I think the fan’s response speaks volumes,” Proyas wrote in the Facebook post.

The Crow is not just a movie. Brandon Lee died making it, and it was finished as a testament to his lost brilliance and tragic loss. It is his legacy. That’s how it should remain.”

The original The Crow was released in 1994, a little over a year after Lee’s death. The film followed Lee as Eric Draven, a man who is murdered but comes back to life as a supernatural crow to avenge his fiancée. The new The Crow is set to be released by Lionsgate on June 7, co-starring FKA Twigs as Draven’s fiancée.

This is not the first time Proyas has spoken out against The Crow being redone. In 2017, he shared a Facebook post titled “Why I Think The Crow Should Not Be Remade” along with a black and white photo of Bruce Lee holding a young Brandon Lee in his lap.

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“I did not take a ‘film by’ credit on The Crow. I wanted it to be Brandon’s movie, because it was, and because he would not be able to make any more movies. He brought all his passion to the movie and it has lasted as his legacy. It is a film I know he would have been proud of,” Proyas wrote at the time.

“I finished the film for Brandon – struggling through grief, along with the hugely supportive cast & crew who all loved Brandon, to complete it in his absence. We were imbued with the strength of Brandon’s spirit and his inspiration. Not only Brandon’s wonderful work as an actor and a film-maker, but as a man, whose humanity had touched us.

The Crow would not be a movie worth ‘remaking’ if it wasn’t for Brandon Lee. If it wasn’t for Brandon you may never have even heard of this poignant little underground comic. It is Brandon’s movie… the notion of ‘rebooting’ this story, and the original character – a character Brandon gave life to at too high a cost – seems wrong to me.”

Representatives for the remake’s director Rupert Sanders and star Bill Skarsgård did not immediately respond to MovieMaker‘s request for comment Monday.

But Sanders told Vanity Fair last month that he held Lee in mind while creating the new movie.

“Obviously, it was a terrible tragedy, and it’s definitely something that we’ve always had in mind through the making of the film,” he said. “Brandon was an original voice and I think he will always be synonymous with The Crow and I hope he’s proud of what we’ve done and how we’ve brought the story back again. His soul is very much alive in this film. There’s a real fragility and beauty to his version of the Crow, and I think Bill feels like he is a successor to that.”

In press notes for the remake, Skarsgård said he hoped to “stay true tot he spirit” of the original movie as well as the source material from James O’Barr’s comic book.

“I was a huge fan of the original film growing up as a kid and was so honored to take on the role of Eric Draven. But really what drew me to it was what Rupert Sanders wanted to do with it,” Skarsgård said. “He wanted to completely reimagine the story and the character and tailor it towards a modern audience. It’s a character that I know many revere and have a strong connection to – he is unlike any I’ve ever taken on before,” he said.

“Working with the remarkably talented FKA Twigs was magical. I felt a responsibility to Eric’s story and endeavored to stay true to the spirit of the source material; I can’t wait for the world to see the film, and hope it resonates with audiences as strongly as it did with those of us involved.”

Main Image: Bill Skarsgård in The Crow. Photo Credit: Larry Horricks for Lionsgate