One of my favorite things to do with troubled film productions is dig back into the ScreenCrush archives and see how long we’ve been talking about the film. If you check out our archive for The Crow, for example, you can scroll back through the Jason Momoa rumors, back through the official casting announcements of Jack Huston and Luke Evans, and end up somewhere in the middle of a strange James McAvoy situation circa 2013. It’s been a long road for everyone’s favorite undead superhero  —  sorry, Blade —  but at least executive producer F. Javier Gutiérrez has remained faithful, even as cast members and rumored directors have not.

So let this serve as this year’s reminder that The Crow is still sort of a thing, and at least one person in Hollywood is chipping away at the development process. In a recent interview with Forbes (via Trailer Addict), Gutiérrez shared a few updates on the project, including his staunch defense of the film’s mature rating:

With The Crow, I haven’t talked to them in a while so I don’t know what is going on with that, but we are going to do an R-rated movie. I come from Europe, I’m very dark so I’m going to go for it. If any movie has to be R-rated then it’s The Crow. That’s how I got James O’Barr, the creator of The Crow, involved in the project because he said that if R-rated is the way that I wanted to go, he’s in. Even though I’m not directing it now, when I was going to be doing that I explained to the producers that they had to read and understand the comic book and not make the film a PG-13 version because it would make no sense.

Forbes also places the budget for The Crow at about $40 million, a nice mid-range number for a comic book movie of that ilk. As you’ll recall, 20th Century Fox only invested about $58 million in the original Deadpool film, so making fun superhero movies for less than nine figures is certainly possible if you find the right director to lead the way. Heck, some of the best action movies of our generation were glorified DTV releases here in the United States, so if Gutiérrez is really determined to take a global approach, he’d do well to look at Indonesian or South Korean thrillers for inspiration. There are plenty of smart and dark-as-hell movies being made for comparatively tiny budgets; whether you like the idea of a Crow remake or not, there’s no reason it can’t be done at the price and rating that Gutiérrez wants.

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