Eli Roth’s ‘Death Wish’ Drops Back to 2018

MGM’s Death Wish remake is dropping back to 2018. Deadline reports that Eli Roth‘s Bruce Willis action vehicle will now bow in theaters on March 2 next year, in order to evacuate the crowded Thanksgiving season. Yeah, suuuuure. I’m certain it has nothing to do with the fact that an old white guy just killed 58 people and wounded more than 500, sparking conversations about gun culture, media violence, and toxic masculinity once again. Nah, it’s definitely because they don’t want to compete with PolaroidCocoChappaquiddickand Molly’s Game, all of which clearly target the same audience as an Eli Roth action movie…. on one of the busiest moviegoing weekends of the year.

Like the original, Death Wish follows Paul Kersey (Willis), “a soft-tempered family man who turns hard with a vengeance after his wife (Elizabeth Shue) and daughter (Camila Morrone) are the victims of a violent home invasion.” The 1974 classic starred Charles Bronson as the gun-happy antihero, but given how the cultural conversations surrounding gun violence and inner-city crime have changed in the last 35 years, the reboot is more than a bit tone deaf. To quote our friends over at BMD, read the room.

Image via MGM

Whether the release date shakeup is motivated by the crowded Thanksgiving schedule, or more likely, the same cultural conversations that caused The Punisher to drop out of NYCC, it’s probably a smart move on the studio’s part. Unless Death Wish is packing some serious insight or subversion that they opted to keep entirely out of the trailer, this movie feels like the mother of all bad ideas in the current climate.

Here’s the official synopsis for Death Wish:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures presents director Eli Roth’s reimagining of the classic 1974 revenge thriller Death Wish. Dr. Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis) is a surgeon who only sees the aftermath of Chicago violence when it is rushed into his ER – until his wife (Elisabeth Shue) and college-age daughter (Camila Morrone) are viciously attacked in their suburban home. With the police overloaded with crimes, Paul, burning for revenge, hunts his family’s assailants to deliver justice. As the anonymous slayings of criminals grabs the media’s attention, the city wonders if this deadlyvigilante is a guardian angel or a grim reaper. Fury and fate collide in the intense, action-thriller Death Wish.

 

Paul Kersey becomes a divided person: A man who saves lives, and a man who takes them; a husband and father trying to take care of his family, and a shadowy figure fighting Chicago crime; a surgeon extracting bullets from suspects’ bodies, and the vigilante called “The Grim Reaper” who detectives are quickly closing in on.

 

Updated from the original novel by Brian Garfield, director Eli Roth  and screenwriter Joe Carnahan’s (The Grey, Narc) Death Wish also stars Vincent D’Onofrio (The Magnificent Seven, TV’s Daredeviland Law & Order: Criminal Intent), Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas), Camila Morrone, Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) and Kimberly Elise (The Great Debaters). It’s a knife’s-edge portrayal that challenges our assumptions, and pushes our buttons.

 

By bringing the complex psychology of Brian Garfield’s book up-to-the-moment and injecting new thrills and a stark, unflinchinglook at the American psyche in 2017, Eli Roth and Death Wish brings audiences to the height of unforgettable suspense.

Image via MGM

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