I’m still not sure if Bruce Willis is the right man to star in a remake of Death Wish. Hell, I’m still not sure if Death Wish is a movie that needs to be remade at all. And yet, I’m interested what a director like Eli Roth, a filmmaker with a penchant for getting really ugly, does with material this inherently dark and toxic. I’m especially interested now that he’s started filling out his supporting cast with character actors I would happily watch read the phone book. Vincent D’Onofrio and Dean Norris have joined the cast of Death Wish, which means the production has officially met its quota for stocky men who make that bald thing look really good.
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It’s been a rough road for Paramount’s upcoming remake of Death Wish, which been the subject of a few behind-the-scenes creative clashes. The project was first announced in 2012 with director Joe Carnahan at the helm, but Carnahan departed a year later over those dreaded “creative differences,” which may or may have involved the director wanting Frank Grillo in the lead role and the studio insisting on Bruce Willis. Miss Bala director Gerardo Naranjo was the next to take the job, but he quietly stepped away. Things finally seemed to be on track just a few months ago when Big Bad Wolves directors Navot Papushado and Aharon Keshales signed on, but they departed not longer after, citing creative differences over the Bruce Willis-approved screenplay.
But maybe fourth time is the charm, because Eli Roth is the next one up to bat.
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A remake of the 1974 classic Death Wish has been in the works for quite some time now, but development has seen its fair share of speed bumps. The film was originally a passion project for director Joe Carnahan, who wanted Frank Grillo to star, but he dropped out once the studio insisted on casting Bruce Willis. Then Gerardo Naranjo stepped in to direct, but nothing came of that.
Now, two new filmmakers are attached to the project and this thing suddenly has my undivided attention all over again. Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado may not be household names, but this duo has been on the rise and their track record suggests that they’re a perfect match for a new Death Wish.
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Last week, I had an epic conversation with Joe Carnahan. Which is pretty much how all conversations go when you’re talking to Joe Carnahan. The director of The Grey, Smokin’ Aces and The A-Team is one of the most honest and outspoken directors in Hollywood, never shy about telling people what’s what. That’s why he sometimes burns bridges, leaves projects he’s not passionate about, and signs up for films that may never get made. He knows what he likes, and thinks he knows what the audience likes, and won’t compromise on either point.
My interview with Carnahan was so big, in fact, we have to break it into three parts. Each part will work on its own, but also have references back to the others. In this, part one of three, most of the conversation centered on what happened, and is happening, with his latest film Stretch. Carnahan talks about what’s needed to finish the film, how made some uncommercial choices with it and more. He also exclusively admits he’s close to begging to go back to do Death Wish, and talks about his respect for Marvel Studios, working in television, and general disappointment with the Hollywood machine. Read More »
Posted on Monday, March 25th, 2013 by Angie Han
Paramount and MGM’s long-gestating Death Wish remake suffered another setback last month when The Grey director Joe Carnahan dropped out, one year after he initially boarded. But like it has so many times before, the project has managed to bounce back. A new report indicates that Miss Bala Gerardo Naranjo is now in talks to take over at the helm. Hit the jump to keep reading.
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Posted on Friday, February 22nd, 2013 by Angie Han
Joe Carnahan has been adding projects to his slate left and right since 2011’s The Grey, but he’s now dropped one of them from his schedule. The filmmaker has abruptly exited Death Wish, Paramount / MGM’s remake of the 1974 thriller starring Charles Bronson.
That doesn’t mean his slate is getting any less crowded, though. Carnahan is now reportedly circling Narco Sub, the drug smuggling thriller that Tony Scott was set to helm before he passed away. Hit the jump to keep reading.
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One bit of Death Wish trivia known to those who’ve read a lot about the film’s early development is that Sidney Lumet was originally looking at adapting the Brian Garfield novel that Michael Winner eventually turned into the film starring Charles Bronson. Lumet was looking at casting Jack Lemmon in the role of accountant Paul Benjamin, whose wife is killed and daughter incapacitated by a violent attack. (In the Winner film, the character’s name and occupation were changed.) That would have been a very different film than the eventual Bronson version, and likely one that did not celebrate vigilante violence in the manner of Winner’s movie.
Now, to follow The Grey, director Joe Carnahan is writing and planning to direct a new version of Death Wish. He’s creating a role for Frank Grillo, after Grillo was so good in one of the most important roles in The Grey. Carnahan has explained a bit about his new Death Wish — that it will be set in LA, and showcase lesser-seen sides of the city — and now Grillo has revealed that the film will feature two brothers, and possibly echo the approach that Lumet might have taken if he had directed the original film decades ago. Read More »
Yesterday it was announced that Joe Carnahan would write and direct a remake of the 1974 revenge classic Death Wish. Today, Carnahan has confirmed the report, and clarified his vision on the new film.
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I’m not sure what to make of this. Only hours after Joe Carnahan reasserted himself with the release of The Grey (my positive review is here), the director was announced as the writer and director of a remake of Death Wish.
Originally released in 1974, Michael Winner‘s Death Wish is a pretty slight film that nevertheless hit a nerve as fears of urban crime started to escalate. Charles Bronson plays Paul Kersey, an architect whose wife is killed during a home invasion that leads to rape; his daughter is caught up in the same event and is institutionalized as a result. Re-introduced to firearms during a business trip, Kersey takes to the streets of New York as a vigilante. Walking around alone at night, he deliberately invites criminal acts, then shoots the perpetrators.
Death Wish has been on the table as a remake or reboot over the past couple decades. What will Joe Carnahan do with it now? Read More »