“The lawsuit between Relativity Media and The Weinstein Company concerning THE CROW has been amicably settled out of court, and the parties will continue to work on the film together as planned. In addition, Relativity Media has dismissed all of its claims against The Weinstein Company for any wrongdoing regarding the release and distribution of NINE, and The Weinstein Company has dismissed all of its claims against Relativity Media.”
So reads the joint statement released earlier today by the two distributors, who last year became embroiled in a legal battle over a planned reboot of “The Crow”, the 1994 film based on the comic book series of the same name by James O’Barr.
The ordeal began back in April when the Weinsteins sued Relativity for breach of contract, claiming they held exclusive worldwide rights to distribute the film and seeking “injunctive relief” (i.e. a court order to ban Relativity from releasing it under their label). Relativity countered that because the Weinsteins had mismanaged the release of the Relativity-produced-and-co-financed 2009 flop musical “Nine”, they’d essentially forfeited their right to distribute “The Crow” (no idea how they were planning to legally justify that, but okay).
The project was first announced back in December of 2008, when “Blade” director Stephen Norrington announced he would be writing and helming a reboot of the original film for Relativity Media, which was in the process of acquiring the rights from original producer Edward R. Pressman (the Weinsteins released the ’94 film during their stint at Miramax).
The project later switched hands from Norrington to “28 Weeks Later” director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, and subsequently it was announced that Bradley Cooper was in negotiations to star and “Watchmen” co-writer Alex Tse would be writing the script (Nick Cave had been hired to pen a previous incarnation), though ultimately Fresnadillo and Cooper exited the project. At that point it seemed the battle between the Weinsteins and Relativity might hold up the film’s development for a good long while, though now it appears the all-clear has been sounded and work can begin again – albeit without Fresnadillo (who seemed like a good fit) and Cooper (not so much).
The original film became notorious after its star Brandon Lee was killed in a freak on-set accident eight days prior to production wrap. Despite the tragedy, the film ultimately went on to critical and commercial success (it grossed over $50 million domestically) and it has continued to attract a cult following since its release.
So what do you think? Are you excited to see the new version of “The Crow” make it to the big-screen, or would you rather they left well enough alone? Sound off in the comments!