MGM has released the first Death Wish trailer. Eli Roth’s upcoming remake stars Bruce Willis as Paul Kersey, a mild-mannered Chicago architect who goes on a quest for bloody revenge after his wife (Elizabeth Shue) and daughter (Camila Morrone) are the victims of a violent home invasion.
Charles Bronson starred in the original 1974 film, which spawned four sequels. Joe Carnahan (The Grey) penned the script for the remake. The movie will be Bruce Willis’ first starring role in a theatrically released feature since 2013’s RED 2. For Roth, this is his first foray into the action genre after making his name with horror films like Cabin Fever, Hostel, and The Green Inferno.
This trailer is kind of all over the place. The film very much looks like it wants to be in the vein of John Wick, Taken, or even a street-level superhero movie, but I can’t tell if it wants to actually take the violence seriously or if it’s tackling it gleefully. Roth is certainly a curious choice to direct, and indeed Joe Carnahan was originally in line to direct this remake from his own script before parting ways over creative differences. Carnahan remains the only credited screenwriter, which is also interesting because in the wake of leaving the project, Carnahan expressed his desire to someday retool his screenplay into a different version of what that film would’ve been.
Alas, here we’re left with the Death Wish remake that MGM wanted to see, as envisioned by Roth, and to be honest I’m not quite sure what to make of it just yet. If the opening of the trailer is to be believed and this film actually wants to tackle the violence on the streets of Chicago today, making a shoot-em-up actioner where Bruce Willis violently murders bad guys for fun doesn’t seem like the wisest of decisions.
Check out the Death Wish remake trailer below. The film also stars Vincent D’Onofrio, Jack Kesy, Dean Norris, and Mike Epps.