(Variety) Brandon Lee, Who Accidentally Shot by Michael Massee on the set of their 1994 film “The Crow,” in which he played Funboy, has died, his agent confirmed to Variety. He was 61.
Actor Anthony Delon first annouced the news in an Instagram post on Monday, writing “R.I.P. my friend Michael. You were ‘five seconds away from a clean getaway.’”
Massee and Delon worked together on the 2014 French TV series “Interventions.”
Details of his death weren’t immediately available.
Massee fired the improperly prepared prop gun that killed Lee on the set of “The Crow” in 1993. Lee, the son of martial arts star Bruce Lee, died in surgery on March 31, 1993. He was 28. “The Crow,” directed by Alex Proyas, was released in May of 1994.
Not much was stirring in Wilmington, North Carolina on Tuesday, 30 March 1993, except the after-hours shoot for The Crow – the 50th day of a production, shot wholly at night, that was about to be enshrouded in an altogether sadder aura of darkness.
The sequence to be nailed in a loft apartment was pivotal: it was the murder of the film’s hero, Eric Draven, by a gang of hooligans whom he returns home to find assaulting his fiancée.
Emotionally intense though the scene was, its technical demands were fairly straightforward, especially given the elaborate set-pieces – one a warehouse shootout with hundreds of blanks raining down – that director Alex Proyas had already captured.
One of the four thugs, chosen almost at random on the night, was to raise a Magnum .44 at Draven as he entered obliviously through the front door carrying the couple’s groceries.
A single blank was to be fired, and a squib simultaneously let off in the shopping bag, to release blood over the actor playing Draven as he tumbled to the floor.
That actor was Brandon Lee, 28-year-old son of the legendary kung fu star Bruce Lee.
As he fell backwards from the blast – not forwards, as they’d all planned – it took long moments before the others on set realised that something had gone hideously wrong.
It took a lot longer – weeks of investigation, in fact – for anyone to work out why.