In the fatal scene, which called for the revolver to be actually fired at Lee from a distance of 12–15 feet, the dummy cartridges were exchanged for blank rounds, which feature a live powder charge and primer, but no bullet, thus allowing the gun to be fired without the risk of an actual projectile. As the production company had sent the firearms specialist home early, responsibility for the guns was given to a prop assistant who was not aware of the rule for checking all firearms before and after any handling. Therefore, the barrel was not checked for obstructions when it came time to load it with the blank rounds. Since the bullet from the dummy round was already trapped in the barrel, this caused the .44 Magnum bullet to be fired out of the barrel with virtually the same force as if the gun had been loaded with a live round, and it struck Lee in the abdomen, mortally wounding him. He was rushed to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, NC, where he underwent six hours of surgery. However, attempts to save him were unsuccessful, and Lee was pronounced dead at 1:03 pm on March 31, 1993, at the age of 28. The shooting was ruled an accident.
The Crow was first released on VHS on September 14, 1994. On October 18, 2011, The Crow was released on Blu-ray. The consensus among high-definition enthusiast sites is that the video and audio quality are excellent.
In 1995, Graeme Revell won a BMI film music award for his score and Stone Temple Pilots won the MTV Movie Award for Best Song for "Big Empty". Also at the MTV Movie Awards, the film was nominated for Best Film, and Brandon Lee was nominated for Best Male Performance. The film received four Saturn Award nominations from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA, for Best Costumes, Best Director, Best Horror film and Best Special Effects. At the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards the film won Best Wide-Release Film and Brandon Lee won Best Actor.
In 1996, a sequel was released, called The Crow: City of Angels. In this film, Vincent Pérez plays Ashe Corven, who, along with his son Danny, is killed by Criminals. Ashe is resurrected as a new Crow. The character of Sarah (Mia Kirshner) reappears in this film and assists Ashe. The film was followed by a television series and two direct-to-video sequels, each with a different person as The Crow.
The Crow: Stairway to Heaven was a 1998 Canadian television series created by Bryce Zabel and starring Mark Dacascos in the lead role as Eric Draven, originally played by Brandon Lee.
The second sequel, The Crow: Salvation, was released in 2000. Directed by Bharat Nalluri, it stars Eric Mabius, Kirsten Dunst, Fred Ward, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe and william Atherton. It is loosely based on Poppy Z. Brite's novel The Lazarus Heart. After its distributor cancelled the intended theatrical release due to The Crow: City of Angels' negative critical reception, The Crow: Salvation was released directly to video with mixed reviews.
The third sequel, The Crow: Wicked Prayer, was released in 2005. Directed by Lance Mungia, it stars Edward Furlong, David Boreanaz, Tara Reid, Tito Ortiz, Dennis Hopper, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Danny Trejo. It was inspired by Norman Partridge's novel of the same title. It had a one-week theatrical première on June 3, 2005, at AMC Pacific Place Theatre in Seattle, Washington, before being released to video on July 19, 2005. Like the other sequels, it had a poor critical reception, and it was considered the worst of the four films.
On December 14, 2008, Stephen Norrington announced in Variety that he planned to write and direct a "reinvention" of The Crow. Norrington distinguished between the original and his remake: "Whereas Proyas' original was gloriously gothic and stylized, the new movie will be realistic, hard-edged and mysterious, almost documentary-style." Ryan Kavanaugh then announced on November 23, 2009, that his company, Relativity Media, was in negotiations with Edward R. Pressman for both the film's rights and financing.
Norrington later stepped out of the project and, on April 7, 2011, it was announced that 28 Weeks Later Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo had been chosen to direct the film, which has since been regarded as a remake. Tucker Tooley of Relativity Media was chosen serve as executive Producer, while Jose Ibanez, Jon Katz and Jesus de la Vega were to serve as co-producers. Meanwhile, Bradley Cooper was in talks to play the lead. It was reported on April 20, 2011, that the project was undergoing some legal battles. In late June 2011, Relativity Media announced their plans to continue in mid-lawsuit and had tapped Alex Tse, who co-wrote Watchmen. In mid-August 2011, it was announced that Cooper had dropped out due to scheduling difficulties and Mark Wahlberg, who was originally in talks for the lead in 2010, was again up for the part, with additional rumors of Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling possibly taking the role, as well as James McAvoy. In October 2011, it was reported that Fresnadillo had departed the project as well. It was confirmed in January 2012 that Francisco Javier Gutiérrez had signed on to direct the remake, with Edward R. Pressman and Jeff Most on producing duties.
On May 4, 2013, Deadline reported that Luke Evans had been cast as Eric Draven. Evans reaffirmed to Superhero Hype that the film would be as faithful as possible to the original. On July 3, 2013, The Crow's creator James O'Barr was named as the creative consultant of the film. In an October 2015 interview, O'Barr would discuss what had changed his mind about the reboot, and efforts to make the reboot a more faithful adaptation of the comic book, while remaining respectful to the original film. On November 21, 2013, Schmoes Know had reports that Norman Reedus was up for the role of a character named "James", and that Kristen Stewart had at one time been considered for the part of Shelly. In December 2014, the studio hired Corin Hardy to direct the film. Evans told Den of Geek in an interview that he might not do the film, and it was later revealed that Evans has dropped out of the film due to other projects. On February 9, 2015, O'Barr told Blastr in an interview that he was interested in Sam Witwer for the role.
As of October 24, 2014, the film was set to start production in the spring of 2015. On February 25, 2015, it was reported that Jack Huston would be starring in the film. On March 14, 2015, O'Barr confirmed to Dread Central at the Lexington Comic and Toy Convention that Huston had been cast as Draven in the reboot, and at a Q&A during the convention he further confirmed that Jessica Brown Findlay had been cast as Shelly Webster. On May 20, 2015, Deadline reports that Andrea Riseborough is in talks to co-star as the female version of Top Dollar. On June 15, 2015, according to Variety reported two stories: Forest Whitaker is in negotiations for a role and Huston has dropped out due to scheduling conflicts, but Relativity Studios are looking at Nicholas Hoult and Jack O'Connell for the role of Draven. On July 31, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter reported that production on the reboot stalled because of Relativity Media's bankruptcy. O'Barr told comicbook.com in an interview that the film will still happen. TheWrap reported that filming on the reboot was going to start in March 2016 with Corin Hardy on board as Director. On June 15, 2016, Deadline reports that Hardy may return to the reboot. On August 10, 2016, Jason Momoa posted a photo of himself with Hardy on his Instagram account. On September 6, 2016, TheWrap reports that Momoa is cast and filming will begin in January 2017. On November 17, 2016, The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Davis Films, Highland Film Group, and Electric Shadow have acquired the rights to Finance, produce, and distribute the film (now titled The Crow Reborn) from Relativity but may lose both Momoa and Hardy. In September 2017, it was announced that Sony will distribute the film.
In the scene in which Lee was accidentally shot, Lee’s character walks into his apartment and discovers his fiancée being beaten and raped by thugs. Actor Michael Massee's character fires a .44 Magnum Smith & Wesson Model 629 revolver at Lee as he walks into the room. A previous scene using the same gun had called for inert dummy cartridges fitted with bullets, but no powder or primer, to be loaded in the revolver. For close-up scenes which utilize a revolver, where the bullets are clearly visible from the front, and do not require the gun to actually be fired, dummy cartridges provide a more realistic appearance than blank rounds, which have no bullet. Instead of purchasing commercial dummy cartridges, the film's prop crew, hampered by time constraints, created their own by pulling the bullets from live rounds, dumping the powder charge then reinserting the bullets. However, they unknowingly left the live percussion primer in place at the rear of the cartridge. At some point during filming, the revolver was apparently discharged with one of these improperly-deactivated cartridges in the chamber, setting off the primer with enough force to drive the bullet partway into the barrel, where it became stuck (a condition known as a squib load). The prop crew either failed to notice or failed to recognize the significance of this issue.