Follow TV Tropes


Trivia / The Crow

Go To

General trivia

The comic book series:

  • Creator Backlash: According to the example on that page, James O'Barr later regretted that he glorified revenge, saying "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," and wouldn't be able to come to terms with it until much later.
  • 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.
  • Advertisement:
  • Old Shame: James O'Barr said that he regretted 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. He only spoke positively of it many years later. Sadly, aside from Sundown, it's one of his few works that most people find awesome.

The film:

  • Breakthrough Hit: For Alex Proyas.
  • California Doubling: Set in Detroit, filmed in North Carolina.
  • Cameo Prop: If Top Dollar's rapier looks familiar, it's because it's the Six-Fingered Sword from The Princess Bride.
  • The Cast Showoff: The final fight makes good use of Brandon Lee's Kung Fu skills.
  • Channel Hop: The film was originally produced by Paramount Pictures, who dropped the film after principal photography was completed, likely due to the negative attention from Brandon Lee's on-set death. It was later sold to Miramax, who released the film through their deal with Disney, followed by the sequels. After Disney sold off Miramax, the film was released to Blu-ray by Lionsgate, and the sequels by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment. After ViacomCBS purchased a minority stake in Miramax, Paramount Pictures took control of their library, and reissued The Crow on home video 27 years after originally dropping it.
  • Completely Different Title:
    • Taiwan: Dragon God of War
    • Turkey: Immortal Love
  • Deleted Role: Scenes featuring Michael Berryman as the Skull Cowboy were cut. Contrary to popular belief, they were cut before Brandon Lee's death, because everyone on set had thought the costume and look of the cowboy character clashed with the rest of the film.
  • Deleted Scene:
    • The arcade demolition scene includes footage of the gang harassing and tying up the arcade clerk. She watches as the bomb's timer ticks down. Draven encounters the dying, burnt woman after the explosion and accidentally takes in her memory of the attack.
    • In the extended version of the arcade demolition, one of the gang members mentions the Detroit River. Although the film takes place in Detroit, no mention of the city is in the final cut of the film (except for one reference to 'Motor City' and another to Lake Erie).
    • Funboy wakes up in the bathtub and grabs the razor. He attacks Eric and cuts his hands and torso. Because Eric has weakened himself by getting the morphine out of Darla, he cannot heal properly. (This would have been explained by the Skull Cowboy, but those scenes were also cut.) To cover the wounds, he wraps them in black electrical tape. This explains why his hands and stomach are wrapped up later in the movie.
    • The shootout in Top Dollar's penthouse contains a bit of additional dialogue and more explicit bloodshed.
    • Skank gets shot in the leg by someone robbing the liquor store from which he was ordered to get smokes and road beers. This scene was supposed to show that crime is indiscriminant and even happens to criminals. This is why Skank is limping when he runs after T-Bird's car.
    • The scene in which Brandon was accidentally shot in real life was changed - the original footage has been destroyed or is in police hands as evidence. The gun used is no longer wrapped in a grocery bag, and Eric (now played by Brandon's stunt double Chad Stahelski) is shot in the back instead of in the abdomen. Scenes showing his face were altered with digital effects and makeup, or reshot from different angles.
  • Development Hell: A complete reboot has been in the works since 2008, and passed between studios, actors, directors and even distributors. Several times it's gotten to the point of a filming start date being announced before someone along the chain drops out. In mid-2018, director Corin Hardy and actor Jason Momoa left the project.
  • Follow the Leader:
    • This was one of a number of darker and highly stylized comic based films to be made after the big success of Tim Burton's Batman (1989).
    • The appearance of Eric Draven in the film was the inspiration for the gimmick change of professional wrestler Sting in 1997 from a happy-go-lucky, bleached-blonde uber-face to an enigmatic, trenchcoat-wearing, bat-wielding loner; allegedly, fellow wrestler Scott Hall suggested the idea to him (which wouldn't have been surprising, as Hall was known to look to famous movies as inspirations for his in-ring gimmicks).note 
  • The Foreign Subtitle:
    • Japan: 'The Crow: Flying Legend''
  • Orphaned Reference:
    • The reason Eric wears tape on his body is because of a deleted scene where Funboy attacks him with a razor. The Skull Cowboy (who ended up being cut from the film) later explained that draining the morphine from Darla weakened his healing factor.
    • Skank is later seen with a bandage on his arm and limping. This is the result of a deleted scene where two kids rob the store he went to get smokes and road beers from and shot him in the arm and leg.
  • The Production Curse: See below. Brandon Lee's tragic death was only the beginning of it.
  • Stunt Double: Chad Stahelski got his start as a stunt double on this movie, doubling for Brandon Lee, whom he trained with at the Inosanto Academy. After Lee's lethal accident Chad was picked for his stunt/photo double because he knew Lee, how he moved, and looked more like him than any other stuntman.
  • Troubled Production: The film had an incredibly troubled shoot, so much so it would have been an 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.
    • 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 movie for $18 million." 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.
    • And of course, with eight days of filming left, Brandon Lee was accidentally shot and killed due to a prop gun that discharged a bullet from a dummy cartridge that was left in the barrel. Dummy rounds were needed for a scene of the gun being loaded, so the armourer took some live rounds, pulled the bullets, dumped the powder and reseated the bullets, leaving the live primers. The armourer went home after a scene of the gun being cocked, leaving the props master to put everything away, but he wasn't familiar with revolvers and didn't know how to lower the hammer (the cylinder won't open if the hammer is cocked), so he pulled the trigger, which set off the primer and, not having any gunpowder, lodged the bullet in the bore (known as a squib). Nobody checked the gun after this, so when it came to the scene where Eric is shot, the bullet was still there, and when the blank was fired, it propelled the bullet like it was a standard cartridge. The resulting shot punctured Lee's chest and impacted his spine, and he died in surgery from serious blood loss. The footage showing Lee being shot was destroyed, as was the gun, 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.note 
  • Unintentional Period Piece: While based on a comic from 1989, the film is very much a product of The '90s, with the industrial-gothic soundtrack and visual style, the trenchcoats, the round-lensed glasses worn by Grange, the preponderance of shoulder-length hair, etc.
  • 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, 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 (who coincidentally and tragically died the same year as Brandon Lee) and Christian Slater both turned down the role.
    • Cameron Diaz was offered the role of Shelly, but turned it down because she didn't like the script.
    • Brandon Lee and Alex Proyas wanted the film to be in black and white like the comic, but the studio refused.
    • Eric Mabius, who would go on to play the lead role in The Crow: Salvation, auditioned for the role of Funboy.
    • According to screenwriter David J. Schow, who hung out with Brandon Lee before and during filming, Brandon thought Sir Peter Ustinov was a perfect fit to play Gideon, the sleazy pawnbroker (an idea he got after watching Spartacus late one night).
    • According to former Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook, New Order was approached to provide the film's score, which included providing a re-recording of "Love Will Tear Us Apart". The idea was intended as a nod to the fact that, paralleling Draven's resurrection, New Order themselves were formed in the aftermath of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis' 1980 suicide, not to mention the fact that James O'Barr was a Big Name Fan of Joy Division and named two characters after Hook and guitarist/New Order frontman Bernard Sumner. However, Sumner turned down the soundtrack offer, citing that they were too busy working on their album Republic; the album would be released in 1993, a year before the film. As something of a compensation, the band allowed a Nine Inch Nails cover of "Dead Souls" to be featured in the movie; both "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and "Dead Souls" were originally Joy Division songs.
    • Stone Temple Pilots originally planned to contribute the song "Only Dying" to the soundtrack; The song was one of their earliest compositions, and they had demoed it in 1990 but had never officially recorded or released it. When Brandon Lee died, the band decided the song's title was Harsher in Hindsight and instead contributed "Big Empty", which was released as both the first single from the soundtrack and from their second album Purple, which was released a few months later.
    • Prior to his death during filming, Lee was set to reprise his role in two more sequels as in the originally intended ending, Eric would've been forced to roam the earth as a result of saving Sarah after being warned by the Skull Cowboy on not doing so.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: