Word in Hollywood is circulating that Mark Wahlberg is being offered the lead in the new version of “The Crow,” the adaptation of James O’Barr’s graphic novel first brought to the screen in 1994 and perhaps most famous for the tragic on-set death of its star, Brandon Lee. For some fans, though, Wahlberg — an Oscar nominee perhaps most famous for his tough-guy persona cultivated for movies such as “The Departed” — might not exactly be an obvious fit for the goth-friendly antihero. Before the ink dries on any contract, we thought we’d offer some other choices for leading men to appear in the signature makeup for director Stephen Norrington (“Blade“) and screenwriter Nick Cave.
Alexander Skarsgard: It’s not such a stretch from Eric Northman, the brooding vampire sheriff on HBO’s hit series “True Blood,” to Eric Draven, one iteration of “The Crow’s” brokenhearted, vengeful spirit. Given the actor’s height — he’s well over 6 feet tall — he’d certainly have no trouble playing imposing, especially adorned in black-and-white face paint. Plus, Skarsgard was just named best horror actor at Spike TV’s 2010 Scream Awards. That’s got to count for something.
Ryan Gosling: Yes, he’s a bit of an indie darling, not the sort one immediately thinks of to front a graphic-novel adaptation. But there’s no question, based on his previous work, that he’d be able to bring gravitas to the part. He’s already demonstrated he can be very raw in films such as the critically acclaimed “Half Nelson,” but he’s now stretching his action-movie muscles too with a role as a stuntman in the upcoming movie “Drive.” Maybe he could bring both skill sets to a new version of “The Crow”?
Anthony Mackie: If the film’s producers are looking to take the remake in a new direction, casting an African American actor in the lead would be an exciting departure. Mackie demonstrated strength and vulnerability in best picture winner “The Hurt Locker“; we’d suspect he could easily do the same here.
Ian Somerhalder: Granted, this list is awfully short to include two television vamps, but Somerhalder’s Damon Salvatore has been both sadistic and heroic, which bolsters his credentials for “The Crow,” and well, there’s no question he’s got a sizable following among fans of the CW’s “The Vampire Diaries.” If he’s not available, there’s always Jared Leto or even Gerard Way; they’ve both got emo cred and look good in eyeliner…
Nick Cave: Although he’s scripting the new “Crow,” the venerated underground lounge lizard and post-punk king has appeared on screen before, and honestly, anyone who’s heard his “Murder Ballads” album would definitely not want to cross an angry Cave in a dark alley.
Of course, we’re open to other suggestions, too. Who do you think should star?
– Gina McIntyre
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