When The Crow returns to the silver screen, creator James O'Barr expects that he'll finally have a movie to be proud of for the first time in more than twenty years.
Speaking to a panel hosted by ComicBook.com at Twin Tiers Comic Con in Elmira, New York, O'Barr was blunt with fans about the "sh--ty sequels" and greed-fueled TV adaptation, but indicated that he'd been pretty happy with the original film and that he had high hopes for the next installment, which will return to the source material and be a more direct adaptation than the Brandon Lee-led first film that set the standard.
“The new movie is not a remake of the Brandon Lee film. It’s going right back to the book; it’s like a literal page-for-page adaption of the book,” O’Barr told his audience.
Asked whether some key sequences from the comics would appear onscreen, he confirmed, “The trains, the horses, the talking bird, all the visual metaphors. The death figures throughout the thing. The director’s a huge fan, he’s very talented, and I’m working with him on absolutely every aspect of it, from casting to the soundtrack. He’s British and I went and met with him late last year in LA and I spent like four or five days with him but at the end of the first day, we were finishing each other’s sentences. He brought the book with him and we went through every single page and he wanted to know what everything meant. 'Why is this here? This street sign — what does it mean?' Because everything is there for a reason. There’s a street sign that says 'One Way' or 'No Exit,' those are there for a reason."
Asked whether Top Dollar is going to be female or not, he said, “Actually that was just something that the press took. One of the gang members is going to be a girlfriend of one of the others. She’s not in charge of anything."
Back in May, reports emerged that the film's "main villain" would be a woman, which unsettled some fans who had been anticipating a more direct adaptation of the graphic novels, rather than another director hoping to put his spin on the world of The Crow and its mythology.
"Everything seems perfect," O'Barr told his audience. "I have control of the soundtrack again, I get to pick the bands again, which I did on the first one, too. So yeah, everything I wanted on the first one, they gave me on the second one, too. The director’s not making any big decisions without talking to me. He’s incredibly talented and he’s a huge fan of the book. So it’s going to be good, it’s going to be really good. And it’s going to be closer to Taxi Driver than to John Woo. The violence is supposed to be ugly, you know? I’m very happy with everything. Sets are being built in Ireland, in Dublin. It’s still very much a live property."
You can see a clip from the panel, including the quotes above and more, below.
O'Barr is currently working on a new volume of The Crow, his first as both writer and artist in more than a decade. It will release through IDW Publishing, hopefully in 2016, and he expects that it will be released first as serialized comics and later as a collected graphic novel.