Joe Carnahan Talks DEATH WISH Remake; Says His Version Is Set in Contemporary L.A. in the Vein of COLLATERAL

     January 31, 2012


Just the other day, we reported that The Grey director Joe Carnahan was set to helm a remake of the 1974 actioner Death Wish. The revenge pic kicked off a wave of actions films and catapulted Charles Bronson to stardom. Very little was known about Carnahan’s version at the time we heard about his involvement, but the director recently took to Twitter to talk about his vision for the pic. He says it’s set in present day Los Angeles, and his goal is to capture an unseen version of L.A. a la Michael Mann’s gritty 2004 thriller Collateral. Hit the jump to hear more from Carnahan.

death-wish-posterFor those unfamiliar with the material, the original Death Wish centers on a liberal architect who sets out for vengeance after his wife and daughter are attacked. Carnahan shot out a series of tweets about what he has in store for the remake:

“Guys. I’m doing Death Wish. But this version is a re-imagining of the book and set in present day Los Angeles. The L.A. of Collateral… It’s on buses, cabs, metro trains. I want to show an unseen version of L.A. L.A. on foot. Prowling. Hunting. The vast emptiness of downtown… [Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn] did a phenomenal job shooting L.A. It took on a different dimension. That’s the key.”

This sounds like an absolutely excellent way to approach an update of Death Wish. Carnahan has proven that he can do down and dirty with Narc and most recently The Grey, and these brief comments solidify my feeling that he’s the perfect man for the job. He went on to say that he’s actually writing a role in the film specifically for Frank Grillo, who starred in The Grey (no word on what role). Furthermore, for those afraid that the advent of Death Wish means the death of Carnahan’s Pablo Escobar passion project Killing Pablo, the director had these reassuring words to say:

“[Killing] Pablo is basically greenlit guys. That one isn’t going anywhere. Promise… KP is happening. I’m not letting that one slip away.”

Carnahan recently told Steve that, should The Grey do well at the box office (which is absolutely has), he’d love to next make Killing Pablo. While I’m not exactly sure whether Death Wish or Killing Pablo will come first, it’s encouraging to hear that he still has Pablo very much on the brain. Hopefully we hear more on both projects soon.


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  • Stone

    It’s Funny that remake is setting in L.A. Mainly for the series has been there before in the 80′s. Part 2 and Part 4 was in L.A too.

  • Chuck

    Frank Grillo just about steals The Grey. He really was awesome.

  • Angmal

    So it’s like Collateral’s version of L.A. but it’s a version of L.A. never seen before? That makes no sense at all. Pick one or the other, numbnuts. Plus, how many vigilante movies have ripped off Death Wish in the last forty years? The story has been done to death (pardon the pun). He’d be better off making a documentary which showed what a load of bullshit The Grey’s depiction of wolves is. They’ve got it hard enough as it is, being hunted down by federal sharpshooters from airplanes to please inbred ranchers, without reinforcing negative medieval stereotypes about these beautiful creatures.

  • No dice

    “Hey man I got a right to get high and eat sushi at this art opening if I want to!”
    “Wrong, creep.” BLAM

  • jameswestwn

    Angmal. The Grey is a movie. In Star Wars when Alderan got blew up I was not outraged because I knew it was a movie. You kid are WAYYY to liberal and possibly racist for my taste. Dose inbread rancers apply to only one rce or you willing to say it about all ranchers like Asians or Africans as well?

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  • AmorphousBlb

    I guess Joe Carnahan hasn’t seen Death Wish Ii, which indeed shows the ‘unseen version of LA’ he’s referring to….looking forward to this, but he should have stayed in NYC or picked another city.

  • Ctw

    Okay I’m all for them making a movie about how they caught and killed Pablo can’t spell the last name well. But a death wish remake nah pass who are you going to get to play the part of the old man. That’s what made the movie is the fact he was just a regular citizen minding his own business and a bunch of thugs came along and killed his wife. He got revenge and end of story, they made four sequels which were okay but should have been done at part 2 .