Chad Stahelski Reveals The Tragic Connection Between The John Wick Movies & The Crow!

MOVIE NEWS – Director Chad Stahelski has a long history with Brandon Lee and The Crow…



Before getting behind the camera to direct the films in the John Wick franchise, Chad Stahelski began his career as a stuntman, coordinator, and influential figure in action films. As a stuntman, he worked on several large-scale projects, including being a key stunt double for Keanu Reeves in 1999’s The Matrix.

Prior to this influential work, Stahelski worked in the 1994 film The Crow, where he acted as a stunt double for actor Brandon Lee alongside stuntman Jeff Cadiente.

The film marked a major breakthrough for Lee as an actor. It probably would have paved the way for Lee to have a career similar to that of his father, the late Bruce Lee. Unfortunately, like his father, Brandon Lee lost his life tragically. The circumstances surrounding his death while filming The Crow continued to affect the film industry for years to come. This also put Stahelski in a delicate position to ensure that the film was completed as a legacy of the deceased star.


The tragedy of The Crow


On March 31, 1993, Lee filmed a scene in which his character Eric Draven was shot dead after witnessing the beating and rape of his fiancee Shelly (Sofia Shinas). In the scene, Michael Massee’s character Funboy fires a .44 Magnum Smith & Wesson Model 629 revolver at Lee as he walks into the room.

Due to cost-cutting reasons and carelessness, a chain of tragic events caused the gun to act as if it had been loaded with a live bullet: Lee was shot in the stomach, fatally wounding the actor.

He was only 28 years old at the time of his tragic death. The production was burdened with the thought of how to continue to finish the film. Most of Lee’s scenes had already been completed for the film before the incident, and he only had three days to shoot. Director Alex Proyas and his crew continued to work, rewriting part of the script to add narration to scenes left unfinished by Lee. Stuntman Chad Stahelski also had a lot of responsibility. The young stuntman was used as a stand-in, and a digital face replacement was used to place Lee’s face on Stahelski’s head.


Chad Stahelski helped finish Brandon Lee’s final scenes in The Crow


Processing the sad situation was difficult for everyone involved. But if Stahelski hadn’t been able to step in to finish some of Lee’s scenes, it’s possible that The Crow as we know it wouldn’t exist today.

When it came time a few months later to figure out how to finish the film, stunt coordinator, Jeff Imada contacted Stahelski and offered to step in for Lee because they were close and his movements and gait were similar to his actor’s .

Although Lee’s face would have been superimposed over his, it also helped that Stahelski looked similar to the actor. This made it easy for some effects to be smooth enough to make it look like Lee did the scenes.



MOZI HÍREK - Alex Proyas úgy véli, hogy A holló (The Crow) Brandon Lee örökségének bizonyítékaként kell, hogy megmaradjon.



Stahelski told Yahoo Movies UK that the director “seemed visibly devastated” by the whole situation, but he wanted to keep fighting because he believed Lee would want the project finished.

“I’d never met the man before but he was very emotional, and very open. He goes, ‘Okay, look, I’ve struggled with this for months, I didn’t know if I wanted to finish, but here’s the deal. I love Brandon. I firmly believe 100% that he would want me to finish this film, if you’re on board with that.’ For the next two days, it was just him and I in a room, teaching me how to walk and talk, showing the footage and saying ‘This is what I need from you.'”


Lee’s death had a particularly powerful effect on The Crow


Despite all the odds, The Crow finally hit theaters on May 13, 1994. Producing impressive revenues both in terms of critical acclaim and box office success. The film has an 84% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Many critics praised Lee’s performance and indeed believed that this film would have been a breakthrough for the actor, making him a huge movie star.

Some critics have also commented on the changes made to the film after Lee’s death, which some say transformed it from a simple genre film to something much deeper and more engaging.

It was obvious to most who saw the film that Lee’s death permeated the project. However, they were also praised because everyone behind the scenes did everything they could to ensure that the film left a worthy legacy for the actor.

It’s clear that the events of The Crow affected everyone involved, and it certainly shaped Stahelski’s films when he became a filmmaker himself. Speaking ahead of the release of John Wick: Chapter 3, Stahelski mentioned that that event made a difference on set. However, it is unfortunate that something bad had to happen for these changes to become more widespread.

“You know what that leads to? John Wick is 90% guns, firearms. A lot of the safety or the methodology we use, it came about because of that accident. It’s retroactive, which sucks, it’s like most f***ing things in life. No one wants to change anything until something bad happens. But I know a great deal about that story, and there’s no one thing you could point a finger at, it was a lot of dumb mistakes that shouldn’t have you happen.”

Source: Yahoo Movies UK

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