Warning: Most of the links in this article are to scenes of violence.
As 1994 is now far enough back to be nostalgia, it looks like they are finally rebooting The Crow . The decision to remake the story of Eric Draven is kind of an odd one. The Crow is like Doctor Who in that a new person assuming the role in a new story is kind of the point. It would be the easiest thing in the world to just add a new chapter, but, you know, Hollywood.
The reboot will be directed by animator and music video director Colin Hardy, and the latest name attached to the project as Draven is Game of Thrones’ Jason Momoa. Now look, I have nothing against Momoa. He’s a great actor, and honestly, his upcoming appearance as Aquaman in Justice League is probably the only reason I will see the movie. That said, he seems like a terrible choice to be the Crow.
The Crow is, for all intents and purposes, a benevolent version of the Joker, especially in the original comic, where he is specifically called a clown. Yes, there’s the brooding goth aesthetic that is a big part of the character, but a dark, manic sense of humor is also a huge factor in what makes the Crow a unique superhero. His best moments are when he tells his famous crucifixion joke, or dangles upside down to taunt Gideon, or when he asks T-Bird how many angels can dance on the head of a pin before killing him with a hammer in the comic, or this awesome scene from City of Angels.
He isn’t a hulk. The bad guys are not supposed to take him seriously until it becomes clear he can’t be stopped. That’s the whole bloody message, that people who were too weak to defend themselves and their loved ones sometimes come back as unkillable vengeance spirits to make evil feel weak and helpless in its turn through both violence and mockery. And that’s a tough sell when you’re Khal Drogo. I mean, it’s not impossible, but it’s not likely either.
So I put together some alternatives.
5. Booboo Stewart
If you’ve got kids, you probably recognize Stewart from his role as Jafar’s son Jay in Descendants, but he’s also had some minor roles in X-Men and the Twilight Saga. I don’t think any actor alive has the same combination of teen idol good looks, humorous delivery, ability for pathos, and sheer physical ability that Brandon Lee exemplified, but Stewart is a very close second. Also, if the reboot works out and they go back to future installments with new characters and stories, he’s the perfect choice to play Joshua in an adaptation of Dead Time.
4. Charlie Heaton
Fresh off crushing it as Jonathan Byers on Stranger Things, Heaton is a good choice if you want to go the more relatable, sincere route that we got in the Crow TV series Stairway to Heaven (which was much better than it had any right to be). He doesn’t have the physical chops Stewart does, but he’s not bad either, and that’s what stunt men are for anyway. He also plays righteous well, which is a plus.
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3. Jena Malone
There have been rumors about a female incarnation of the Crow since at least as far back as when Rob Zombie was attached, and Stairway to Heaven actually had one named Hannah Foster, played by Bobbie Phillips, for a couple of episodes. If they ever want to tell the story of Erica Draven instead of Eric, Malone is my pick. Between Hunger Games and Sucker Punch, she’s shown she can handle heroics well while also being quick with a pithy one-liner. She’s also arguably had the best fight scenes of anyone on this list, so there’s that.
2. Ben Foster
Foster, known for his work in The Mechanic and most recently Hell or High Water, is probably the platonic ideal of an actor fit to be the Crow. He’s possibly the straight-up best actor on the list, has plenty of physical experience and plays very well off of villains. He’s definitely the guy you want if the moral ambiguity of the Crow’s mission is what you want to focus on, but you’re going to need a pretty slick costume and make-up team to make Foster convincingly goth.
1. Evan Peters
I swear I didn’t set out to make this a list of people who have been in X-Men movies who should play the Crow, but that’s where you find a lot of talented young action stars these days. Bar none, Peters is the best possible choice to be the Crow. Between his work as Quicksilver and his appearances on American Horror Story, he’s pretty much run the whole gamut of what makes a good Crow movie. The mix of horror and heroics is definitely his wheelhouse, and nobody makes me feel like he loves another character to come back from the grave to avenge him like Peters does.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go hide in case Momoa takes this article personally.