Trivia / The Crow

The comic book series:

  • Creator Backlash: According to the example on that page, James O'Barr later regretted that he "glorified revenge".
    James O'Barr: I wish I had never written the goddamn thing.
    • However, the Special Edition released in 2011 shows that now, O'Barr has come to terms with the work, seeing it as about true love and the importance of self-forgiveness. This is thanks in no small part to Brandon Lee's fiancée Eliza Hutton, with whom O'Barr became close.
  • Creator Breakdown:
    • As mentioned in the description, what started the whole thing.
    • After the death of Brandon Lee in the movie, James O'Barr said in an interview that writing the comic had been a vicious, self-destructive process and not at all cathartic, and that, combined with Brandon's death during shooting the film, made him "wish I had never made the goddamned thing."
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: A definitive "special edition" of the comic was released in 2011. It features a new foreword by O'Barr and new or previously unseen artwork that O'Barr intended to include in the original release but couldn't due to the constraints of the format, in which page numbers had to be multiples of 16. The additions include but are not limited to:
    • An extra page in Gideon's pawnshop, in which Eric advises young rookie cop Albrecht to reconcile with his estranged wife
    • A flashback sequence of Eric and Shelly dancing together
    • A flashback sequence called 'An August Noel' which O'Barr says was so autobiographical in nature that it was simply too painful to include it the first time around
    • A penultimate sequence called 'Sparklehorse', in which Eric mercy-kills the horse in the barbed wire from the earlier 'Shattered in the Head' sequence, symbolising his final acceptance of the fact he wasn't able to help Shelly and has a discussion with the crow that very explicitly lays out that he's been trapped by his anger at himself as at the gang who attacked him and Shelly that night. The sequence takes place between Eric killing T-Bird and the final sequence of Eric at Shelly's grave.
  • Old Shame: James O'Barr has said that he regrets writing the comic now, both due to what he now feels is a glorification of revenge, as well as the death of Brandon Lee due to the movie adaption.
    • Sadly, aside from Sundown, it's one of his few works that most people find awesome.

The film series:

  • The Crow: City of Angels
  • The Crow: Wicked Prayer

  • The Cast Showoff: The final fight makes good use of Brandon Lee's Kung Fu skills.
  • Deleted Role: Scenes featuring Michael Berryman as the Skull Cowboy were cut.
  • Executive Meddling: City Of Angels was hit by this pretty hard, 20 minutes worth of character development and important plot points were edited from the film, the only way to see the full version is on Pay Per View or bootleg.
  • Fatal Method Acting: Brandon Lee's famous and accidental death on the set of the first film.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Funboy's actor Michael Massee, who accidentally shot and killed Brandon Lee, was so devastated and thoroughly convinced that Lee's death was his fault that he took a year off from acting to cope. Even then, Massee said that it continued to haunt him until the day he died.
  • Troubled Production: The film had an incredibly troubled shoot, so much so it would have been an infamous example of this trope before its defining behind-the-scenes accident:
    • Series creator James O'Barr's first meeting with Paramount executives led to him discovering that they wanted to make the film a musical starring Michael Jackson, and when he laughed thinking it was a joke, they told him they were absolutely serious. Later on, they refused director Alex Proyas' request to shoot the film entirely in black and white.
    • With eight days of filming left, Brandon Lee was accidentally shot and killed due to a prop gun that discharged a piece of blank cartridge that was left in the barrel. The resulting shot punctured Lee's chest and impacted his spine, and he eventually died from serious blood loss. The footage showing Lee being shot was destroyed, and the incident caused so much anguish for supporting actor Michael Massee (who pulled the trigger on the gun, and was cleared of any wrongdoing in the incident) that he took a year off from his career to recuperate.
    • As a result of Lee's death, and Paramount Pictures writing the project off as a result, Miramax finished production of the film via reshot sequences that used a stand-in for Lee. The FX studio Dream Quest Images (which was already trying to make effects for the entire film on a budget of $15,000) was forced to jury-rig handheld footage of Lee shot earlier in production to finish several effects shots.
    • There were several more accidents that befell the production crew, leading to a widespread belief that the film was cursed. A carpenter suffered serious burns on his upper body during the first day of filming. A manual worker had a screwdriver get embedded in his hand. An equipment truck burst into flames. A stuntman broke several ribs after falling through a roof, a rigger was horribly electrocuted, a disgruntled set sculptor went beserk and drove his car through the props room destroying it and a hurricane destroyed several of the sets. Just prior to his fatal shooting, Lee cut himself on a piece of breakaway glass (which isn't supposed to be sharp).
    • A lot of the trouble was due to cost-and-corner-cutting; one of the crew recalled "they were trying to make a 30 million dollar movie for 18 million dollars". The film was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina, because North Carolina was a "right-to-work" state. This allowed the producers to get away with pay, conditions, and, crucially, production schedules that would have been nuked by unionized Hollywood. They began filming at night outdoors, but the aforementioned hurricane destroyed the sets, so they moved the production indoors - without changing the schedule, as switching a production from nights to days requires a 24-hour turnaround, time the harried production team didn't have. Moreover, it was still so cold that the camera rails had to be de-iced during filming by riggers with blowtorches hiding out of shot.
    • On top of all of this, cocaine abuse was rampant on set, according to Empire magazine, with cameramen shooting whilst high, crew going into the toilets to snort between shots, and people cutting around looking like the Got Milk? ads. One crewmember recalls hearing the sound of a sneeze on the set one day, and an annoyed Brandon Lee quipping "someone just lost $50".
    • Everything eventually got so bad that one of the neighbouring productions in the EUE studios began taking bets on mishaps...until a fire destroyed several of their sets as well.
  • Wag the Director: A positive example. Brandon Lee requested that one Asian character from the comic who tries to steal Eric's powers, be removed from the script, as he felt it was a stereotype.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Iggy Pop was asked to play Funboy in the first movie, but had to decline due to scheduling conflicts - The comic book version of the character was modeled after him to begin with. Instead, he played Curve in The Crow: City of Angels.
    • Two other sequels were in development, one being The Crow 2037, a futuristic dark gothic fanatsy to be written and directed by Rob Zombie; and Lazarus: A Tale of The Crow which took place in the world of gangsta rap and was set to star DMX and Eminem. Neither film failed to materialize and were actually attempted to be spun off into stand alone films separate from the franchise before those plans stalled as well.
    • James O'Barr originally wanted Johnny Depp to play Eric.
    • River Phoenix and Christian Slater both turned down the role of Eric.
    • Cameron Diaz was offered the role of Shelly, but turned it down because she didn't like the script.
    • Eric Mabius, who would go on to play the lead role in The Crow: Salvation, auditioned for the role of Funboy.