Relativity’s remake of the 1993 cult classic The Crow hasn’t had the smoothest flight through the development process. The studio is already locked into litigation with the Weinstein Company over who has the rights to distribute the film (Bob and Harvey say they do – Relativity says they forfeited the rights with their disastrous handling of the film Nine), and now they’re back in the hunt for a leading man.
Bradley Cooper was penciled in to play the part of slain musician Eric Draven – a man brought back from the dead to avenge the death of his fiancee – but he’s now bailed on the project. The reason for Cooper’s abrupt exit? The ever-popular “scheduling issues.”
Cooper’s departure leaves the film with a huge hole to fill if it plans to start shooting in the first quarter of 2012 as planned. The studio is already scrambling to find replacements and there are two well-known names in the mix.
THR says that Channing Tatum and Mark Wahlberg are currently circling the role – and we didn’t think it was possible to find an actor we liked less as Eric Draven than Bradley Cooper, but somehow Relativity has managed to find two performers who are worse for the part than Cooper was.
Tatum, who’s best known for his work in G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, doesn’t really fit the Draven mold at all. The character, made famous in comics and then into something of a pop culture icon thanks to Brandon Lee’s portrayal, is a dark fellow – something we don’t see Tatum being capable of pulling off in a believable fashion.
Wahlberg, who was rumored for the part before Cooper landed it, presents his own set of problems – he’s not exactly young anymore and his work in Max Payne pretty capably demonstrated that he doesn’t do well with this sort of material. We actually like Wahlberg’s work for the most part – but he’s just not the right guy to play Eric Draven. If we were forced to choose between Wahlberg and Tatum, we’d go with Wahlberg. Of course, Wahlberg might not even sign on for the part – he’s got his own scheduling issues to contend with now that he’s signed on for 2 Guns.
We have no idea who will be doling out the justice when Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and crew start shooting The Crow, but rest assured that this project will happen. Relativity is focused on bringing a new version of Eric Draven’s bittersweet tale to the screen and whether it’s Wahlberg or Tatum or some other actor parading around in Draven’s gothy get-up, we suspect this title will hit theaters sometime in 2012.