Brandon Lee's final film, The Crow, premiered in theaters 20 years ago this week, and we're revisiting the film with a set visit and an eerie vintage interview with Brandon himself taken just three weeks before his shocking death on the Crow set.
"It poses some really interesting questions," Lee said of the film's concept. "If you died, and then somehow a year later you had two days to come back, what would you do?"
Brandon was mortally wounded on the North Carolina set when he took an accidental gunshot to the abdomen during a scene in which his character gets shot. A dummy bullet from a previous close-up shot had lodged in the gun barrel, and was discharged when blanks were used for the same gun in a subsequent scene. Lee underwent 6 hours of surgery to save him, but was pronounced dead at 1:03 p.m. EST on March 31, 1993. He was only 28, just four years younger than his father, the famed Kung Fu icon Bruce Lee, when he died in 1973.
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Based on the hugely popular graphic novel, The Crow is a story of reincarnation and revenge. Lee plays Eric Draven, a rocker whose fiancee is raped and murdered by thugs, who then kill him. A year later, he crawls from the grave and makes his way back to his old haunts, determined to take justice into his own hands. Directed by Alex Proyas, the film co-stars Ernie Hudson, Rochelle Davis, Bai Ling and Michael Wincott.
The film was a critical and box office success, pulling in close to $100 million worldwide, fueled by the controversial nature of Lee's tragic death at a young age, just like his father. There have been middling sequels with Vincent Perez, Eric Mabius and Edward Furlong in the title role, but none had quite the same impact with audiences. A new reboot starring Fast & Furious 6 and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug star Luke Evans is currently in the works.