Screenwriter James Gibson recently sat down with Bloody Disgusting platform where they discussed “The Crow: Lazarus”, which was intended to be the fourth installment of the crow franchise before the series went fully straight-to-video with Lance Mungia’s 2005 sequel “The Crow: Wicked Prayer”. James Gibson revealed that the movie was supposed to feature Eminem and the late DMX.
“We wrote a draft. DMX loved it,” said Gibson. “They were trying to figure out who they were going to get to play opposite him. I think they were approached by Eminem’s people. And Eminem was just as picky as DMX then. 2000, 2001, he was blowing up huge. He said if DMX was going to be in the movie, he wanted to be in the movie. So we decided, ‘Okay, yeah. Let’s have him play Stone.’
Obviously, in that draft, it hadn’t been tailored to him yet. I think having that guy be white was going to change the dynamics somewhat. But it was nothing that couldn’t have been done with a few tweaks here and there. But he read the script, even though the character was written as black, he knew it was gonna be tailored to him and he agreed to do it. They had made a deal with him, they were going to pay him like $4 million or something to be in it. And this is like two years before 8 Mile.”
“So he hadn’t been in a movie yet. This was going to be his motion picture debut. So it was going to be DMX as the good guy, the most badass guy in the world with a lot of heart. Eminem playing a mustache-twirling bad guy, the most villainous guy in the world. Obviously a gigantic, huge soundtrack. You’ve got the two biggest rappers, you know? It just seemed to me like it can’t lose, right? It just seemed like a no-brainer. We were all really excited about it, we were in pre-production, and … Miramax had this weird thing, where they were involved, but they weren’t involved.”
“This is what they were told, and just this kills me. They got a call from either Harvey or Bob Weinstein. It might’ve been Bob, because he was in charge of Dimension. ‘Nobody wants to see a movie with two rappers,’ was what he said.
‘Nobody wants to see a movie with two rappers.’ No one’s going to pay to see a movies with two rappers? Okay. They’re the two biggest fucking pop stars in the world at that point! Eminem was going to get even bigger, X was at his peak right then.
“And 8 Mile, when it came out a year and a half later, had like a $35 million opening weekend or something. And that was a drama. I mean, it kills me because I probably would have bought a house with the money that we’d have made, you know? [laughs]”
Joseph Kahn, who has worked with Eminem on several music videos, confirmed the news and revealed that he was going to direct that movie.