At the first and only scene with Christopher Lee in Sleepy Hollow (1999) there were a few moments where he's shown directly from the front where the wings of the eagle statue behind him look like they are spawning from his body. Was this an homage to his earlier horror movie roles or was there any other meaning for them?
My interpretation of this imagery is that he's being loosely depicted as an angel of death, sentencing Ichabod Crane to go to Sleepy Hallow to investigate the weird murders.
Remember, in the original story of the Headless Horseman, Ichabod Crane actually ends up disappearing, never to be seen again. We are unsure of his fate, just as those watching this movie for the first time having heard of the Headless Horseman story previously are unsure of Ichabod Crane's fate at this time in the movie, wondering if he might end up disappearing or being killed entirely.