Filmmaker Corin Hardy has been dropped as the director of The Crow remake. Hardy signed on to the project in late 2014, but its future was thrown into jeopardy last July, during pre-production, when Ryan Kavanaugh’s studio, Relativity Media, filed for bankruptcy.
Kevin Spacey’s producing partner, Dana Brunetti, was brought on as president of the struggling studio in January of this year, and was tasked with turning its fortunes around. On Wednesday, it was revealed one of his first actions was to remove Hardy from The Crow in favor of finding a new director to take charge of the film, a reboot of the 1994 supernatural thriller starring the late Brandon Lee.
Brunetti’s decision has already ruffled some feathers, with producers at Edward R. Pressman Film Corporation, who own the rights to the original movie, filing papers in bankruptcy court seeking to deny Relativity bosses the chance to move forward with any sequels, prequels or remakes.
Officials at the two firms had previously signed an agreement for the remake and two other films in 2009, and approved Hardy’s appointment in 2014, even offering him a holding deal to keep him tied to the project during last summer’s period of financial uncertainty.
However, Edward R. Pressman is now seeking legal action to nullify the rights deal, amid allegations he was not consulted over Hardy’s dismissal, which he claims violates his contract with Relativity.
“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,” he argues in the legal papers, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
Despite the objections, a spokesperson for Relativity insists Brunetti is the right person to oversee The Crow remake.
“With Dana coming aboard, we are giving him full creative rein,” the representative told The Hollywood Reporter. “We want him to be able to reboot The Crow under his vision and guidance. We are optimistic he will create the best package for such an iconic franchise.”
A leading man for the planned The Crow revamp has yet to be revealed, after numerous delays forced Jack Huston to drop out of the project in June (15).
The original thriller has become a cult favorite over the years, particularly as Brandon Lee, who portrayed vigilante Eric Draven, was killed during filming after he was shot by a faulty prop gun.
We’ll keep you posted as more details on The Crow remake surface!