Third ‘Crow’ to fly

Rocker Zombie set to direct next installment

Head-banging rock star Rob Zombie is set to make his feature film directing debut on “The Crow: 2037,” the third installment of “The Crow” series, for the Edward R. Pressman Film Corp.

Edward Pressman and Jeff Most will produce the pic, which is expected to begin shooting this fall. Zombie’s manager, Andy Gould, will exec produce.

The film is based on Zombie’s original script. Sources say it will change directions from the revenge fantasies of the first two and focus on a classic horror style.

Pic begins in 2010, when a young boy and his mother are murdered on Halloween night by a Satanic priest. A year later, the boy is resurrected as the Crow. Twenty-seven years later, and unaware of his past, he has become a bounty hunter on a collision course with his now all-powerful killer.

The first film — helmed by former musicvid director Alex Proyas, and based on James O’Barr’s comic strip — became a cult hit, earning $94 million at the box office worldwide. “The Crow” took on a macabre status after Brandon Lee, who starred as the title character, was killed accidentally eight days before lensing was due to wrap.

Another Brit vid helmer, Tim Pope, directed last year’s sequel, “The Crow: City of Angels,” starring Gallic screen idol Vincent Perez. The film went on to earn $30 million worldwide.

Zombie’s version will feature entirely new characters. No casting has been set.

Although Dimension, Miramax Films’ genre banner, released the previous installments, no distributor has been set for the third pic.

Visual point of view

“I’ve always wanted to make films,” said Zombie, the gravel-voiced front man for the platinum-selling rock band White Zombie. “With everything I’ve ever done, I always approach it from a very visual point of view. So making a movie as high-concept as ‘The Crow’ was an obvious choice.”

Zombie, according to sources, first became interested in “The Crow” while visiting the set of the original film. Later, White Zombie covered the KC and the Sunshine Band hit “I’m Your Boogie Man” for the soundtrack of last summer’s sequel. After seeing his work on the video he directed for the song, Pressman offered Zombie the opportunity to helm the third film.

He also will score “The Crow: 2037” along with Charlie Clouer of Nine Inch Nails, the group that performed the title track to the original film.

Zombie also wrote and sang the title track of Howard Stern’s recent biopic “Private Parts.”