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Lionsgate Picks Up The Crow in Eight-Figure Deal as Original Film’s 30th Anniversary Draws Near

While there are plenty of good movies waiting to be acquired at the Toronto International Film Festival, such as Anna Kendrick‘s serial killer thriller Woman of the Hour, this week’s biggest acquisition deal actually went down Wednesday night on the eve of the fest.

In need of comic book franchises, Lionsgate plunked down eight figures for domestic rights to The Crow, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this coming May. The studio didn’t announce a release date, and if there’s a summer movie season then the month of May could be too crowded, but it sure would be perfect, and it’s just as possible that there will be a dearth of action movies next summer — an unfortunate scenario, albeit one in which The Crow could actually soar.

Gifted visualist Rupert Sanders (Ghost in the Shell) directed the latest adaptation of James O’Barr‘s acclaimed graphic novel, and It star Bill Skarsgård plays Eric Draven this time around. He’s joined by singer-songwriter FKA twigs (Honey Boy) and Danny Huston (Birth).

The late, great Brandon Lee starred in Alex Proyas‘ original movie, a cult classic that is one of my all-time favorite films. He plays a rock star who is killed the night before his wedding along with his fiancée, though a crow brings him back to life to put the wrong things right by avenging his own death.

Lee was tragically killed during filming as a result of a firearm malfunction. Vincent Perez went on to star in the sequel, The Crow: City of Angels, and he was followed by Eric Mabius (The Crow: Salvation) and Edward Furlong (The Crow: Wicked Prayer).

Sanders and screenwriters Zach Baylin (King Richard) and Will Schneider reimagined O’Barr’s original graphic novel, and the $50 million movie was shot last year on location in Prague and Munich. The film was produced by Victor Hadida, Molly Hassell, John Jencks, the late Samuel Hadida, and the late Edward R. Pressman, whose production company, Pressman Film, is now led by his son, Sam Pressman.

CAA Media Finance negotiated the domestic deal, which John Biondo oversaw on behalf of Lionsgate. FilmNation is handling international sales, and the film is already proving popular with international buyers eager to see a new take on an old favorite.

“We appreciate what the Crow character and original movie mean to legions of fans and believe this new film will offer audiences an authentic and visceral reinterpretation of its emotional power and mythology,” promised Lionsgate exec Charlotte Koh. “To work with a creative team led by Rupert’s unparalleled visual style and storytelling and with a producing team who have made some of the most popular and impactful films of the last several decades is a true privilege.”

“The original film left an indelible mark on our culture that lives on. We are thrilled to bring a new adaptation for today’s audiences that respects this legacy. Rupert has masterfully brought new dimensions to create a contemporary universe for this timeless saga of undying love, and we can’t wait to share this vision with film audiences,” read a joint statement from the film’s producers.

Simply put, The Crow is the single greatest comic book movie of all time, edging out movies like The Dark Knight, Logan, Kick-Ass, and Batman Returns. This will be my #1 most anticipated movie of 2024, guaranteed. I’m keeping my expectations in check given my reverence for the original, but something tells me that Sanders and Skarsgård may have actually delivered here, despite the odds. We’ll see…

As for Woman of the Hour, Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions may want to take a look at that one, too, as Kendrick directs the hell out of that movie, and Daniel Zovatto‘s performance as serial killer Rodney Alcala is deliciously creepy.

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