First Looks: Bill Skarsgård Channels Jared Leto’s Joker In ‘The Crow’ Remake

Bill Skarsgård’s transformation into Eric Draven in the upcoming The Crow reboot has sparked significant attention, especially after these first-look images.

Released by Lionsgate, Vanity Fair provides a first glimpse of the remake, showcasing Skarsgård’s portrayal of the iconic character. This version of Eric Draven, initially brought to life by the late Brandon Lee, shows Skarsgård shirtless, heavily tattooed, and donning the character’s signature face makeup and leather coat.

“Brandon was an original voice, and I think he will always be synonymous with The Crow and I hope he’s proud of what we’ve done and how we’ve brought the story back again. His soul is very much alive in this film,” Sanders said, “There’s a real fragility and beauty to his version of the Crow, and I think Bill feels like he is a successor to that.”

The Crow

Director Rupert Sanders, known for Snow White and the Huntsman and Ghost in the Shell, has brought his vision to the reboot, hinting at a modern influence in Draven’s look, reminiscent of figures like Post Malone and Lil Peep. Sanders aims to resonate with today’s youth, presenting a character that mirrors the current generation’s style and ethos.

“I think the beauty of Bill is that he has a disturbing beauty, and as he transforms through his loss he becomes this thing that even he can’t control. It’s that famous line: ‘Whoever fights monsters must be careful that they don’t become one.’ That look was me in the ’90s when we were squat-raving in London, [mixed with some modern influences] like Post Malone and Lil Peep,” Sanders explained, “I hope people who are 19 today look at him and go, ‘That guy is us.’”

The Crow

The reboot, which delves into the tragic love story of soulmates Eric Draven and Shelly Webster, promises a fresh take on the tale of vengeance and love beyond the grave. The film’s narrative remains faithful to James O’Barr’s original graphic novel, focusing on Draven’s quest for revenge against those responsible for his and Shelly’s murder.

The Crow

The announcement of a new chapter in The Crow saga has been met with anticipation and scepticism alike, as it follows in the footsteps of the 1994 classic that became a cultural phenomenon partly due to the tragic on-set death of Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon Lee. Sanders acknowledges Lee’s lasting legacy and hopes the new film honours his memory and the impact of the original.

Comparisons to Jared Leto’s Joker have emerged following the release of the first images, with some fans drawing parallels between Skarsgård’s aesthetic in The Crow and Leto’s controversial portrayal of the Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad. See comparisons below:

Despite these comparisons, Sanders’ The Crow aims to carve its own path, paying homage to the past while presenting a narrative and visual style that speaks to contemporary audiences. With a talented cast that includes FKA Twigs, Danny Huston, and more, The Crow reboot seeks to reignite the franchise’s dark, gothic essence while exploring the depths of its characters’ struggles and transformations.

The Crow opens in cinemas on 7 June.