Actor Brandon Lee, son of martial arts superstar Bruce Lee, was all set to step off of his father's famous coattails as Eric Draven in Alex Proyas' adaptation of James O'Barr's comic series The Crow, but his life was tragically cut short during what should have been a routine stunt shot gone terribly wrong on March 31, 1993. According to reports, a Magnum .44 pistol used in a scene was supposed to be loaded with a single harmless blank, but had a piece of a real bullet still lodged in the chamber from some earlier second unit use. When it was fired off by Lee's co-star Michael Massee as planned, the bullet pierced Lee's abdominal aorta; he could not be saved despite several hours of surgical effort.
The studio and filmmakers had the option to table the pic altogether, with insurance covering the production expenses, and while that might have been an attractive option given the devastation of the cast and crew, they decided to forge on and finish with subs coming in to round out Lee's remaining pieces so that his life's last work could be shared.
The actor who pulled the trigger on that fateful day later said he "wasn't even supposed to be handling the gun until we started shooting the scene, but they changed it." He wasn't to blame for the prop preparation mistake which cost Lee his life, of course, but it still took an emotional toll. "I don't think you ever get over something like that," said Massee of the devastating mishap. The film was eventually released to resounding praise in 1994, and, contrary to urban myth, did not include the actual footage of Lee's fatal wound.