We all know by now that “The Crow”  is completely irreplaceable because it isn’t just one of the finest comic book films made, it’s one of the best films ever. We don’t need to go over why it’s so brilliant. So why, you ask, are you reading an article dedicated to the casting of “The Crow”? Well, here’s the thing- the whole concept of “The Crow” is a mantle, a legacy, it is not one person like say Wolverine or Superman, it is more along the lines of The Phantom.
The Crow is an identity assumed by a scorned and wronged soul that has been brought back to life by some higher, inconceivable power in order to restore balance to a particular universe in which it dwells, regardless of who they are and where or when they are from. Eric Draven was one wielder of the power, not the only.
So fans, fear not, Marcey and myself will not be re-casting the role of Eric Draven that was immortalised by Brandon Lee, nor will we be looking for the next Top Dollar. We are going to abide by the mythos that O’Barr created and give our opinions about who we would like to see as The Crow, but with a twist- we are going to be looking at actresses who we could absolutely see in another “Crow” film as the metaphorical corvidae of revenge. Additionally, just to add some context, we’re going to share our ideas about the circumstances that begot each She-Crow’s existence. Let vengeance be a lady.
Author’s Note: Please keep in mind these are just our choices, and really, there are so many wonderful female actresses out there who could play The Crow that it would be impossible to do all of them justice in one article.
The Actress: Lena Headey has a pair of enormous, cast iron ovaries and I am in super frickin’ jealous admiration. Statuesque, absolutely fearless, she isn’t just good looking, but she is striking. She can play a variety of different types of women, like a Spartan Queen, a medieval scheming noblewoman, an embittered drug-addicted gang-leader; she’s superbly interchangeable as an actress. Headey has an unmistakable inner and outer strength, adept at displaying intensity and vulnerability that is sure to make you feel awe, sympathy and fear all in one hit.
The Circumstance: A sufferer of the terrible Peterloo Massacre, Lena’s character was among the 700 injured who died of her grievous wounds while pregnant with her fourth child. After the riot, her family took part in a grass-roots attempt at an uprising, but they too were cut down among others by the government who were supposed to be ensuring their well-being. This restless soul was brought back to avenge the savage deaths of her family and herself, but was also tasked to ‘cut down’ several of the higher ranks of officials who started the massacre all to restore balance in an already unstable world.
The Actress: Gabrielle Union is disgustingly intelligent, incredibly articulate and I’m pretty sure she is part of an awesome alien species that have come to Earth in disguise to make it a better place. Not only does she have the ability to come out of any bad film she stars in unscathed, but she doesn’t allow herself to be put down by typecast or convention. Union is a huge advocate for violence of assault, human sex trafficking and female genital mutilation in developing third world countries. Union has had her heart and brain in the right place when it comes to speaking her mind- she doesn’t use her fame to glorify herself, she utilises it as a means to a greater end. In terms of playing a Crow, Gabrielle’s own sense of justice would translate beautifully.
The Circumstance: Union’s character would be a Carib woman who gets is mutilated and killed in the advent of the Second Carib War, and she is brought back not just to avenge her own death, but to help spark the rebellion by becoming a symbol of defiance and might to her people which enables them to rise up against their British oppressors, thus changing the tide of the conflict forever.
The Actress: While Katherine Isabelle is without a doubt a committed actress who isn’t afraid to stick to her principles, not enough love give is given to her cinematic sister Emily Perkins. There is no doubt both actresses were amazing in “Ginger Snaps” which is a personal favourite film of mine- they completely went against the mould that is applied to most women in horror films and portrayed women in a completely different light- human. In the case of Perkins, it was actually her character that was the true hero of the first two films and she proved that she could carry a movie without sacrificing her range and not being apprehensive to being seen in an conventionally unflattering light as she is seen in “Ginger Snaps 2”. Perkins is actually a good looking woman, but that’s completely beside the point- she is a bonafide actress through and through who looks to be challenged in her roles rather than rest back on her laurels. Given Perkins is completely unafraid when it comes to taking on roles not traditionally assumed by other actresses, who are we to refuse the fact she could be a unique and memorable Crow?
The Circumstance: Condemned as an outsider by the Salem community, tortured and killed for being a witch, Perkins’s character would be granted the opportunity for comeuppance and she would take it with fire in her eyes and brimstone in her heart. As a human she was victimised and underestimated, as the Crow, she grants zero mercy to those who showed her none in one of the most vicious chapters of human history.
The Actress: Alice Braga has rapidly become a worthy actress in her thus far short but widely varied career. I remember her particularly from the brutal “City of God” as Angelica, as the symbol of hope in an otherwise morally destitute criminal underworld and most recently as Isabelle the hard-as-nails Israeli sniper in “Predators” as well as Frey in “Elysium”. Braga is blessed with having an adroit set of skills as an actress- she can play delicate as well as unbending, delicate and tenacious, as well as every other emotion in between. She doesn’t allow herself to be pigeon-holed and that’s A-OK with me. Braga’s exotic looks also lend a sense of mystery to her, and her eyes are tremendously expressive, at times she reminds me of a silent movie star because of just how much she convey in one solitary glance.
The Circumstance: Braga’s Crow was one of many unfortunate casualties of the dreaded Spanish Inquisition, an inherently evil, unwarranted occasion in human history. Having suffered an excruciating and unspeakable amount of torture before finally being unceremoniously slain, a young Spaniard woman returns from her unmarked grave to bring a Hell down upon her Inquisitor’s heads in ways they could never imagine and show the rest of the world that the Inquisition is hardly the pious and untouchable institution it has dictated itself to be.
The Actress: Gina Torres for Wonder Woman. Seriously. The moment you lay eyes on Torres, you instinctively know that it means your face if you mess with her- other than that, she comes off as a really nice person! Torres has made a name for herself already by playing highly capable female characters in a broad variety of television shows and movies, though the one character a lot of us tend to think of is Warrior Woman Zoe Washburne in Jess Whedon’s “Firefly” and the cinematic follow up “Serenity”. As with all of Whedon’s female creations, Zoe wasn’t just a lover but also a loyal, mess-with-me-not rebellion fighter, she had layers and shades to her, and in true Whedon style, he chose the appropriate actress to give her life off the page. Torres has a formidable and authoritative screen presence that presents itself every time you see her, regardless of the character she plays or the size of the role. The best thing? She harbors no intention of stopping any time soon.
The Circumstance: Female gladiators (or gladiatrix) were a rarity back in Ancient Rome and when they came into the area, they were met with awe and not a small dose of distaste what with the double standard that the battle arena was not the place for a woman (although to be fair, a gladiatrix was not often there by choice). Torres’s character was a foreign combatant who was enslaved and placed in a ludas where for a brief period of time she was a crowd favourite until she was killed out of jealousy by her male peers, the act overseen by the woman she considered the closest thing to an ally and a lover. The wrathful soul emerges as a mysterious challenger who cuts down each and every one of her murderers before she turns her eyes to the one she had once trusted.
The Actress: Chloe Moretz is easily one of the most talented young actors working today, she is extremely versatile and isn’t afraid of taking on controversial roles (aka Hit-Girl). There isn’t much this girl can’t do, and I know so many of us have been won over by her. Chloe does rank with my favourite actresses, and I do see her able to play the role of a young female Crow. She has proved she is bad-ass and we’ll see her as a tortured soul in the Carrie remake soon. While she might still be young, she has an aurora of maturity about her, she might look young but her personality is very adult. Hence why I think she’d be perfect for this type of role.
The Circumstance: For my version of what Chloe would play, since she is young and able to play a character that breaks the mould, a slave. But a slave that was trafficked for sex. Her life has been completely ruined, think Lilja 4-eva. Unaware of what has happened, she gets pushed into this slave trade against her will. But she does break free, as a Crow and takes out revenge on the traffickers and frees the other young women sold into slavery. You can picture this film can’t you?
The Actress: Summer Glau, an amazing talent who has solidified herself on television with shows like Firefly and The Sarah Connor Chronicles. She is a rather talented woman, able to portray all sorts of characters and even play herself in a comedic turn (The Big Bang Theory). Her turn as River Tam in Firefly was equal parts badass as it was emotional. So of course my mind went directly to Summer when thinking of who could play The Crow in female form. Summer is a very physical performer and able to really articulate alot with her eyes and face, for me this makes her a perfect candidate.
The Circumstance: My vision for Summer would be for her to play a character in the medieval times or so, and her character gets betrayed by those she trusts. Perhaps they claim her to be a heretic by what they claim she has said, because they cut out her tongue and she becomes a mute, This injustice wont go on without action, Summer’s character becomes The Crow and while she can’t talk she can do a lot with what limbs she has left.
The Actress: Michelle Rodriguez, the woman basically defines the terms ‘badass’. She is awesome, in everything she does, whether it be in Resident Evil or The Fast And Furious franchise. Needless to say I am a huge fan, she really has aimed to defy conventions when she takes on a role. Michelle simply isn’t there for eye candy, she actually creates a character and one that is a force to be reckoned with. She generally plays someone who can fend for herself and she doesn’t generally need a hero, or she is teamed with an someone she can be an equal to. Michelle in my eyes could be just the right fit for a female Crow, and damn I think she’d rock the make up too.
The Circumstance: Much like above with Summer, Michelle’s character is the victim of a betrayal. But for this, I think the film would be set in the distant future, where she plays some sort of law enforcement. She is sold out by her partner to the very crime organisation they were meant to be taking down. Left for dead, she comes back scorned and indeed of revenge on those who had betrayed her. She wouldn’t be alone as these people have left a lot of people in bad situations. The woman is a fighter and perfect for this!
The Actress: Rila Fukushima completely won me over with her turn in The Wolverine. I think she successfully made the transition to actress with that one role/performance. Just look at her, she is striking, her face is very powerful. She made her presence known in that film, and I took notice and I was with her through that film. There is a lot of potential there, I really want to see her take on more roles, I think she could definitely be very versatile and has a career ahead of her. Rila proved to me that she was a badass, able to move and fight off whatever came at her. To me that is perfectly awesome for a Crow.
The Circumstance: This one is quite simple, I’d set set around the last 20 years or so, she plays a woman who gets caught up in the world of underground fighting. The reason, she goes on a quest to save her brother, who is in too deep with the wrong people. Left for dead after a very unfair fight, she comes back to save her brother and bring this group down.
The Actress: Kerry Washington, not only is she absolutely beautiful but she is a fantastic actress. I am sure most know her for either or TV work with Scandal or in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Her body of work is very impressive and she certainly can play all sorts of characters and make it believable. I find that she is very likeable and very easy to relate to and get behind, I really love watching her work, she brings out the best in everyone around her. So why not consider her for a female Crow, she has the ability to pull it off, She’s a strong woman, and a strong screen presence.
The Circumstance: For Kerry I see her as being an outsider, someone who comes to a new town (perhaps set in the future), she is seen as an outsider is not accepted. But she fights for her acceptance, and being an outsider gets her unwanted attention. Perhaps the towns morons turn on her, the outsider wont take this business without a fight. She’d be a quiet character and dangerous when she needs to be.
Heady would be great. Perkins and Rila are inspired choices
I’ve always thought that Summer would be great as The Crow as well. Recently, she was a guest at one of my regular annual conventions, and I finally got to ask her about that during one of the Q&A sessions. She said that it had never occurred to her before and seemed surprised at the idea. She talked a bit about wishing she had done more martial arts work earlier in her career, and she also said that, by interesting coincidence, one of her regular stunt coordinators, Chad Stehelski, was Brandon Lee’s stunt double. She said she felt honored that I would think of that role for her (I think maybe because she didn’t want to sound like she was disrespecting Brandon’s memory or anything) and she thanked me. It was very gratifying. It would have been even better if I hadn’t sounded like such a bonehead because I was so nervous. 🙂