Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe has recorded a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah for the upcoming Justice League film and she said it’s a moment 14 years in the making.
Crowe, who now lives in Newfoundland and Labrador, said it was back in 2007 when director Zack Snyder first discovered her version of the Cohen classic on YouTube and asked if he could use it in his film Watchmen.
As a fan of Snyder’s 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, Crowe said she “absolutely freaked out” at the opportunity. Although the Cohen version was ultimately used in the film, Crowe and Snyder stayed in touch and she’s since become a family friend.
“The thing about the Snyders is they’re such kind, genuine human beings and he really did keep trying to put my music into movies and that funny back and forth over the years I guess kind of formed a friendship,” Crowe said.
Crowe got a chance to finally meet Snyder in person on the set of Man of Steel in 2011. She appears in the film, performing Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire in a scene shot at the Cassidy Inn pub, which stood south of Nanaimo for over 100 years before it was destroyed by fire in 2016.
“I honestly think that over the years he tried to get my music in things so many times I think eventually he just went, ‘You know what? We’re just going to put her in the movie,’” Crowe said.
She also got to attend the film’s premiere in New York City, and although the event was “a crazy, big, cool thing,” spending time with the Snyders was like meeting up with old friends.
“They’re such genuine, lovely people it just feels like you’re hanging out with friends or even family,” Crowe said. “And all the people around them are the same. It’s just a good crowd of folks.”
On March 18, Crowe will finally be heard singing Hallelujah in one of Snyder’s films as the director again approached her to record a new version of the song to close out his director’s cut of Justice League, called the Snyder Cut by fans.
Snyder originally left production of the film in 2017 after his 20-year-old daughter Autumn died by suicide. Hallelujah was her favourite song and Snyder asked Crowe to perform it at Autumn’s funeral.
“It’s one of these things where I’m a singer, it’s what I do. So if I can offer some sort of comfort when someone is devastated and hurting, if I can do that, I will do that,” Crowe said.
Crowe said she’ll be tuning in to the film when it comes out, although this time the premiere may be a little less glamourous than the one she attended for Man of Steel.
“I’m going to be having a little movie premiere in my house. An isolation premiere,” she said. “I’m considering dressing up. Chances are good that I will be wearing my jogging pants because … I have gotten very accustomed to comfortable clothes this year.”
Zack Snyder’s Justice League debuts on HBO Max on March 18.