The Crow is one of the 90s’ genuine cult classics, and for the last 16 years, a remake has been stuck in development hell, to the extent that this became an “I’ll believe it when I see it” movie. Well, I believe it, because yesterday a trailer for a new version of The Crow was released. This time around, Bill Skarsgard stars as the doomed Eric Draven, and FKA Twigs as his equally doomed fiancé, Shelly. The film also stars Danny Huston and Laura Birn. 


For some bizarre reason, this is a June release, and not like, October. The Crow is very autumn-coded, but the original movie came out in May of 1994, so maybe they’re feeling some 30-year symmetry with the release (which isn’t an exact anniversary match, but close enough). The new film is directed by Rupert Sanders, whom you might know from such films as Ghost in the Shell and Snow White and the Huntsman, so if you were wondering how his career is doing after a very public infidelity scandal involving a much younger actress in his employ, he’s fine. 


As for the trailer itself, it’s okay. Lainey said she “hopes it’s horny”, but while the trailer is clearly setting up Eric and Shelly as a pair of wild young lovers, I’m not really getting horny vibes from the trailer, even with some sexy stuff included. We’ll see how it pans out in the full film, because while there is an emphasis on Eric and Shelly’s love, there is a bigger emphasis on the violence. This will be a violent movie! It’s a classic revenge thriller, so that tracks, but this specifically looks born of the John Wick aesthetic, as that has turned into one of the most influential films of the last decade. I also thought it was kind of…a choice…to include a scene in which Eric gets shot point-blank in the stomach, given that’s how Brandon Lee died on the set of the original film. I’m not saying don’t have the scene in the film, but maybe don’t put it in the trailer? Like, damn. 


As for Bill Skarsgard, of all the actors who touched this role over the years—Mark Wahlberg, Bradley Cooper, Tom Hiddleston, Luke Evans, among others—he’s probably the best option. There was a moment where I could see Hiddleston doing a solid job of it, but Skarsgard has an energy that works for “angry youth”, he brings an appropriate Goth touch to it. The face tattoos immediately make me think of Jared Leto’s Third Best Joker, because he’s ruined that aesthetic forever in film. I guess I’m fine with everything happening here, I don’t dislike any of it so much to give up on the potential of a remake of The Crow altogether, though I’m not in love with it, either. 

I’m just hedging my bets because Bill Skarsgard isn’t the kind of actor to bet against—he’s HUGELY talented and Hollywood is still struggling with how to utilize him beyond creeps and weirdoes—and because I have to write a review next week that is 100% me eating, well, crow after a film turned out WAY better than its trailers suggested it would. Sometimes trailers are bad! Or, if not bad, don’t do a good job fully communicating what you’re in for with a particular film. 


So, while I am not totally impressed by the trailer for The Crow, I remain cautiously optimistic that Bill Skarsgard & Co. might make it something worthwhile, separate from the original film. If you can’t top the original, you might as well find your own space to exist in…like Road House.