Back in November, Relativity's long-delayed remake of The Crow seemed to be finally heading in the right direction. Director Corin Hardy signed a new holding deal with the studio, just months after rumors surfaced that he was ready to leave the project. Production was slated to begin sometime in the spring of 2016, after the studio emerged from its bankruptcy proceedings, but now the project is tied up in yet another legal snafu. The Hollywood Reporter reveals that producer Edward R. Pressman has filed court documents today seeking to deny Relativity the rights to make this remake and any future projects, after they quietly fired director Corin Hardy.
Edward R. Pressman signed a deal with Relativity back in 2009 that gave studio president Ryan Kavanaugh the option to make three Crow movies. That option was exercised in 2014, which gave the studio three years to start production, or the rights reverted back to the producer. Pre-production began last August, with Corin Hardy agreeing to a $150,000 holding deal in November, but that was the last we heard about the project. In today's court filings, Edward R. Pressman revealed that the director was actually fired in late January, by new studio head Dana Brunetti, who is taking over Relativity from Ryan Kavanaugh. Here's an excerpt from today's filings.
"[Hardy] is known for his visual flair, having a penchant for horror and dark subject matter. The parties believed that Mr. Hardy was particularly suited to reinvigorate The Crow, which is based on a dark tale of revenge told originally in graphic novel form. Notwithstanding the importance of Mr. Hardy as reflected by [Relativity] management's securing and extending his services through the 'holding deal,' and notwithstanding the confidence in him shown by other studios, on or about January 27, 2016 - five days before the start of the confirmation hearings in the Relativity bankruptcy case - Mr. Dana Brunetti, purporting to act for or on behalf of RMLLC, summarily removed Mr. Hardy as director of the Picture. The action purported to have been taken by [Relativity] on Mr. Brunetti's initiative with respect to Mr. Hardy has undermined years of work expended by Pressman and has wasted valuable resources invested in the Picture"
Edward R. Pressman claims that Dana Brunetti fired the director even though he hasn't officially taken over as the head of the studio's film and TV operations. Another report from Deadline claims that the producer wasn't consulted about the firing and he didn't learn about the firing until almost a full month later, on February 25. He learned about the director's dismissal only because he was copied on a "pre-existing email chain" between Dana Brunetti and Corin Hardy's agent.
Judge Willes, who has been presiding over this case, approved Relativity's plans for both Dana Brunetti and his producing partner Kevin Spacey to run the studio. However, Kevin Spacey revealed earlier this month that he was backing out, stating he didn't have "the time nor the wherewithal" to run a studio. As for The Crow's latest legal entanglement, Judge Willes will hear Edward R. Pressman's case at a hearing set for this Friday, but, as of now, it seems the project is without a director once again.
Even if the director is brought back, the project still doesn't seem any closer to starting production this spring. The producers still haven't found their leading man to play Eric Draven, a rock star who is killed alongside his fiancee, and then resurrected one year later to exact his revenge. Jessica Brown Findlay is still attached to play Eric's fiancee, Shelly, but if the project keeps getting held up, that could change as well. Are you optimistic that The Crow remake will ever see the light of day?