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Bradley Cooper to star in The Crow?

If you follow Hollywood at all, then you probably know the drill. A movie finally gets the greenlight and casting begins. Inevitably, if the film has any buzz at all, you will hear the names of several big stars who are supposedly in negotiations, or have been approached, or are interested in the role, etc., etc. Sometimes those rumors turn out to be true—usually they don’t. That may make you wonder why the media keeps reporting them. We do it for the same reason the news hires meteorologists. When we are wrong, it is quickly forgotten, when we are right, we look like geniuses. Besides, when it comes to movie casting rumors, it is a fun conversation, even when it turns out to be false.

The most recent such rumor regards the upcoming remake of The Crow, which began its life as a comic book by James O’Barr, and then gained attention for two things. The first was the stylish look and feel from director Alex Proyas (Dark City, Knowing), while the second was the tragic death of Brandon Lee, who died during filming when a prop gun misfired and killed the actor. The series then spawned a handful of much less successful sequels, which led to the unsurprising decision to reboot the property.

The new film seems to be going ahead at full speed, and just last week Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto, 28 Weeks Later) was hired to co-write and direct. Fresnadillo is considered a rising star in Hollywood, and was recently attached to direct an adaptation of the video game BioShock after Gore Verbinski announced that he would not be able to direct, although he is remaining attached as a producer. That film remains in limbo though, which freed Fresnadillo up to sign on for The Crow.

According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, actor Bradley Cooper (Limitless, The Hangover) and the studio have officially begun negotiations. The report also claims that Cooper is very interested in the project, and Fresnadillo has spoken with the actor about how they should develop the character.

If he accepts, Cooper will take over the role that Brandon Lee made famous in 1994, although how much of the original story will make it into the reboot is anyone’s guess. It might seem like an odd choice at first glance, especially when you consider that Cooper is best known for his charm, while the character of the Crow is brutal and deadly, but then again maybe it isn’t much of a stretch at all.

The original story revolved around a young musician named Eric Draven, who was preparing for his wedding the following day when he and his fiancé were attacked and murdered.  The kind-hearted Eric then returned from the dead exactly one year later to seek vengeance against those that wronged him. It is a complex character that is both tortured and yet filled with a sense of purpose. The character is not a bad guy–far from it–he is someone that was once kind and generous, but was then faced with so much trauma that when the opportunity for revenge was offered, he jumped at it.

Although this casting news is still just rumor, expect the role to be cast soon with or without Cooper attached, as production is expected to start in the Fall.