THE GREY Director Joe Carnahan Set to Helm Remake of DEATH WISH [Updated with Comments from Carnahan]

     January 29, 2012

As Joe Carnahan’s latest directorial effort, The Grey, is poised to be the number one film at the box this weekend, the director has now landed another high-profile project. Carnahan is being hired to write and direct a remake of the 1974 action pic Death Wish. The original served as the breakout film for star Charles Bronson, and kicked off a wave of action movies. The story was loosely based on a novel of the same name and centers on a liberal architect who sets out for vengeance after his wife and daughter are attacked. It’s basically a one-man revenge tale, and Carnahan seems an absolute perfect fit for the material. Hit the jump for more. [Update: Carnahan recently commented on his vision for the project. His thoughts are included after the jump]

death-wish-imageCarnahan recently spoke with Steve at-length about his future plans, and he said that if The Grey does well enough, he’d love to next make the Pablo Escobar pic Killing Pablo. The Grey is currently enjoying positive reviews and a solid box office, so I’d say things are looking good for the director. 24 Frames’ report on the matter doesn’t specify how soon the Death Wish remake would go into production. The original spawned four sequels, so MGM and Paramount are no doubt thinking franchise potential.

A remake of Death Wish has been kicking around for a while, as Sylvester Stallone had planned on directing and starring in the update back in 2006. He subsequently left the project, and I can’t help but think Carnahan’s a better fit. As for who would take over the morally conflicted badass role that Bronson inhabited, does Liam Neeson not immediately come to mind? During his interview with Steve, Carnahan said that while working with Neeson on The Grey and The A-Team, the director couldn’t help but think about the actor for parts in other projects he was developing. I would absolutely be first in line to see a Death Wish remake from the Carnahan/Neeson team, so here’s hoping the director brings Neeson on.

Update: Carnahan recently took to Twitter to talk a bit about his vision for the project. Here’s what he had to say:

“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.”

To that, I say hell yes. Additionally, Carnahan said he’s writing a role in the film for Frank Grillo. The director went on to assure fans that Killing Pablo is basically greenlit and nothing is postponed because of Death Wish. I’m assuming that means he still plans on doing Killing Pablo next, but time will tell.


Here’s the trailer for the 1974 film Death Wish:


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