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Director of original “The Crow” criticizes remake: 'Brandon Lee died making it'

Filmmaker Alex Proyas said the 1994 film "was finished as a testament to [Lee's] lost brilliance and tragic loss."

Thirty years after The Crow first landed on the big screen, the supernatural drama is being remade with Bill Skarsgård in the title role. But not everyone is in favor of revisiting the material — including the original film's director.

Alex Proyas, who helmed the 1994 comic book adaptation, expressed his distaste for the reboot in a statement posted to social media Monday, citing the tragic death of original star Brandon Lee in an on-set accident.

"THE CROW is not just a movie," Proyas wrote. "Brandon Lee died making it, and it was finished as a testament to his lost brilliance and tragic loss. It is his legacy. That's how it should remain."

Everett Collection Brandon Lee in 'The Crow'
Everett Collection Brandon Lee in 'The Crow'

Proyas, whose directing credits also include I, Robot and Gods of Egypt, shared his message above a link to a CBR article about the new film's trailer receiving a multitude of dislikes on YouTube.

"I really don't get any joy from seeing negativity about any fellow [filmmakers'] work," he wrote. "And I'm certain the cast and crew really had all good intentions, as we all do on any film. So it pains me to say any more on this topic, but I think the [fans'] response speaks volumes."

The original Crow film starred Lee as Eric Draven, a musician who is resurrected as a supernatural antihero to avenge his own murder and that of his fiancée. Lee, the only son of Bruce Lee, was killed by a prop gun while filming one of his final scenes for the movie in 1993. He was 28. The film was ultimately completed with the assistance of digital face replacement and Lee's stunt double Chad Stahelski (who would go on to direct all four John Wick films).

The new Crow movie is directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman, Ghost in the Shell), who recently told Vanity Fair that Lee was ever-present in the minds of the filmmakers.

"Obviously, it was a terrible tragedy, and it's definitely something that we've always had in mind through the making of the film," Sanders said. "Brandon was an original voice and I think he will always be synonymous with The Crow. I hope he's proud of what we've done and how we've brought the story back again. His soul is very much alive in this film."

A representative for Sanders declined to comment on Proyas' statement. A rep for Lionsgate, which is distributing the film, didn't immediately respond to EW's request for comment.

<p>Larry Horricks/Lionsgate</p> Bill Skarsgård in 'The Crow'

Larry Horricks/Lionsgate

Bill Skarsgård in 'The Crow'

The original incarnation of The Crow also spawned three sequels before being rebooted, each with new characters taking on the mantle of the Crow: the 1996 theatrical sequel The Crow: City of Angels, the 2000 direct-to-video follow-up The Crow: Salvation, and the 2005 The Crow: Wicked Prayer, which received a limited theatrical release in Seattle before going to home video.

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