Movies & TV Shows

Every Actor Who Was Almost Cast As Eric Draven In The Crow Reboot

The Crow reboot is now set to star Bill Skarsgård in the titular lead role, but there have been several actors almost cast as Eric Draven/The Crow over the years. The Crow has been in development since 2008, but it took almost 14 years to finally get underway. A release date has yet to be announced, but the film is currently in post-production with filming having wrapped last month. After a long wait, Skarsgård will be the Eric Draven that viewers will see on the big screen, but he was far from the first actor attached to the role.


The Crow, based on the comic of the same name and starring the late Brandon Lee, was a hit that spawned a franchise, but subsequent films and adaptations were not so successful. The Crow reboot could make up for these failures and give its cult following a film many have waited over a decade for, and Skarsgård’s confirmation as Eric Draven is certainly an encouraging sign. Given that The Crow reboot has taken over a decade, there have been a variety of directors and writers attached to the project during its long development, but the key component for success was finding a lead that could meet the high standard set by Lee. It was a highly sought-after role that attracted a multitude of talent. Here are the actors who almost played Eric Draven/The Crow before Bill Skarsgård took on the role.

Related: The Crow Reboot Backlash Explained (& Why It’s Ridiculous)

Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg was one of the first names to be linked with The Crow reboot project. Wahlberg is undoubtedly a talented performer, with action-orientated roles in projects such as Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, as well as an Academy Award-nominated turn in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. However, when Wahlberg became attached to the reboot of The Crow in 2010, many questioned whether he had the right qualities for Eric Draven.

Though Wahlberg had established himself as an action star, his built muscular physique did not match the image of the slender, gothic, and even somewhat feminine Draven that Lee had portrayed. Wahlberg was offered the role but turned it down, which was seen as a relief for the potential success of the reboot. Wahlberg told Cinematical that he didn’t commit to the role due to the departure of director Stephen Norrington, whom he had been a fan of. Norrington is best known for directing the original 1998 Blade film starring Wesley Snipes, but he and Wahlberg never got a chance to show what they would have done with their take on The Crow.

Bradley Cooper

Following Wahlberg’s confirmed departure, Bradley Cooper became attached to The Crow reboot in 2011. Like Wahlberg, Cooper was drawn to the film because of its director. Norrington was replaced by 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, but both Cooper and Fresnadillo’s time with The Crow production was short-lived due to scheduling conflicts. During this time, Fresnadillo worked with comic artist Diego Latorre on conceptual images of Bradley Cooper in The Crow makeup that were made public once they departed the project. The sketches provide an intriguing look into an alternate reality in which The Crow reboot was able to get off the ground much earlier in its development. However, the scheduling difficulties ended up frustrating further development.

Luke Evans

Luke Evans entered negotiations to play Eric Draven in The Crow reboot when the project was intended to be helmed by another Spanish director, F. Javier Gutierrez. According to Deadline, he had been the original choice for the role, but his busy schedule created by films such as Clash of the Titans and The Three Muskateers made him unavailable. The start date for The Crow reboot was then pushed back to early 2014 in order to secure Evans. This start would never materialize as Gutierrez became unavailable and dropped out of the production. He was replaced by Corin Hardy in December 2014, and with the changes and no start date in sight, Evans officially dropped out of the role in January 2015 to pursue other projects. Like Cooper, he did get a chance to appear in concept art created by makeup artist Bill Corso along with Loki actor Tom Hiddleston, who was briefly in talks to play Draven, though it never moved beyond “a simple conversation” according to Deadline.

Related: Why Was Luke Evans’ Owen Shaw Missing From Hobbs & Shaw?

Jack Huston

British actor Jack Huston played Richard Harrow for four seasons of Boardwalk Empire and while he wasn’t a known action star, he signed onto The Crow reboot after Evans’ departure. However, he too would have to leave in June 2015 due to scheduling conflicts. At San Diego Comic-Con the following month in promotion for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Huston said he was “so excited” about The Crow reboot and “so sad” to have to leave the production. He added that those working on the film were “brilliantand he just wanted them to “go and make a great movie.” When Huston’s exit was announced, director Hardy put out a statement that said, “We look forward to unveiling our new lead and starting to film over the next several weeks. While they did find a new lead, it would be another seven years before filming got underway on The Crow reboot, with a different star and a different director.

Jason Momoa

In August 2016, Momoa shared a picture of himself with Hardy on his Instagram, teasing his casting in The Crow reboot with the hashtags “great news to come” and “dream job.” Similarly to Wahlberg, Momoa’s large physical build drew mixed reactions, though test footage that surfaced online in 2021 was met positively. Unfortunately, by that time, Momoa had already dropped out of the production. In 2018, he and Hardy exited The Crow reboot due to financial issues between producer Samuel Hadida and Sony, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That year, Corin directed his second feature film, The Nun, a prequel to The Conjuring, though he referred to leaving The Crow reboot as “the hardest decision” on Instagram. Momoa would also move onto to other projects, but wrote on Instagram, “I’m ready when it’s right,” in a post about the cancelation of the reboot.

In January 2020, The Crow reboot was revived and returned to development, and this time it would be a much quicker process. Snow White and the Huntsman and Ghost in the Shell director Rupert Sanders took on the project that finally found its Eric Draven in Bill Skarsgård. Each of these actors could have taken the character in different and interesting directions, but Skarsgård appears to be the perfect successor to Lee. His transformative efforts as Pennywise the Clown in It and It Chapter II proved he has what it takes to become the iconic character of Eric Draven/The Crow. With filming over, it hopefully won’t be much longer before the long-awaited release of The Crow reboot.

Next: The Crow Movies Ranked Worst To Best

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