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Norrington flies with ‘Crow’ franchise

Filmmaker to write, direct reinvention of series

The Crow” will fly again.

Stephen Norrington has signed on to write and direct a reinvention of “The Crow,” based on the comic created by James O’Barr.

Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media is negotiating with producer Ed Pressman to acquire the film franchise and finance the film.

Pressman produced the 1994 Alex Proyas-directed screen transfer, in which rock musician Eric Draven is murdered trying to rescue his girlfriend from thugs, and returns from the dead one year later to exact vengeance. Though the original became a gothic-style hit that grossed nearly $100 million worldwide, it is primarily remembered for a tragic accident in which star Brandon Lee was killed during filming.

For Norrington, “The Crow” deal marks the end of a long screen sabbatical. After making his breakthrough with the Marvel Comics hero “Blade,” Norrington took on a big-budget comic transfer with “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” Neither the director nor his star, Sean Connery, has made a film since.

Norrington said he felt demoralized by that experience, and the accomplished sculptor spent the next five years writing and working on his art. He made a deal to direct “Clash of the Titans” for Warner Bros., but left the project, he said, because he was “unable to excite Warner Bros. with my take, or influence the screenplay to any comfortable extent.” That pic goes into production early next year with Louis Leterrier at the helm.

Norrington resolved to focus on independent projects, and sparked to an approach on “The Crow” from Relativity production chief Tucker Tooley and Pressman. Norrington had a relationship with Pressman when they came close to making “Mutant Chronicles” several years ago. Both embraced Norrington’s vision of the antihero, which Norrington said will be different than the film Proyas made.

“Whereas Proyas’ original was gloriously gothic and stylized, the new movie will be realistic, hard-edged and mysterious, almost documentary-style,” Norrington told Daily Variety.

Norrington is repped by Endeavor.

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