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As ‘The Crow’ remake drops first-look images, director says Brandon Lee’s memory is ‘very much alive’

<i>Larry Horricks for Lionsgate via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Bill Skarsgård in
Larry Horricks for Lionsgate via CNN Newsource
Bill Skarsgård in "The Crow."

By Alli Rosenbloom, CNN

(CNN) — Haunting first-look images of Bill Skarsgård and FKA Twigs in the upcoming remake of the 1994 noir thriller “The Crow” were released on Wednesday, bringing renewed focus and honor to the classic’s original star, the late Brandon Lee.

“Brandon was an original voice and I think he will always be synonymous with The Crow,” director of this year’s “Crow” remake Rupert Sanders said in an interview with Vanity Fair on Wednesday. “I hope he’s proud of what we’ve done and how we’ve brought the story back again.”

Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, originated the role of the vengeful Eric Draven in “The Crow,” the Alex Proyas-directed supernatural thriller based on the comic book series by James O’Barr. In March 1993, 28-year-old Lee was accidentally shot and killed by a jammed prop gun on the film’s set.

“His soul is very much alive in this film,” Sanders said of Lee this week.

The first-look photos released on Wednesday showcase Skarsgård’s version of Draven, with a punk haircut and methodically-placed tattoos from head to toe. His signature black makeup is an eerie reminder of Lee’s Draven. Singer FKA Twigs is also seen in the photos, playing Draven’s love interest Shelly.

While the 1994 film has become something of a cult classic, Sanders’ version of the film is a modern reimagining and veers from O’Barr’s source material. Despite the differences, the “Snow White and the Huntsman” director told Vanity Fair that his take is still a tribute to the memory of Lee.

“Obviously, it was a terrible tragedy,” Sanders said of the star’s untimely death, adding that “it’s definitely something that we’ve always had in mind through the making of the film.”

Describing Lee’s original take on Draven as a performance that possessed “fragility and beauty,” Sanders said he thinks that Skarsgård – known for his chilling rendition of Pennywise the Clown in the “It” remakes – “feels like he is a successor to that.”

Sanders’ “Crow” follows Eric Draven (Skarsgård) and his fiancée Shelly, who are brutally murdered when Shelly’s dark past catches up with them.

“Given the chance to save his true love by sacrificing himself,” an official synopsis reads, “Eric sets out to seek merciless revenge on their killers, traversing the worlds of the living and the dead to put the wrong things right.”

“The Crow” is set to premiere in theaters on June 7.

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