We kind of got a Death Wish remake about ten years ago with the little seen James Wan film Death Sentence, which starred Kevin Bacon as an executive who takes justice into his own hands when he’s personally the victim of a heinous crime. But a straight up new adaptation of Brian Garfield novel has been brewing for some time. Back in 2013, we reported that Miss Bala director Gerardo Naranjo had replaced Joe Carnahan in the director’s chair. Now Deadline is reporting that Naranjo is out and Paramount and MGM have hired Big Bad Wolves directors Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado to direct with Bruce Willis set to star.
For those who are unfamiliar with the 1974 Charles Bronson film or the book, it follows a mild-mannered architect who decides to take vengeance on the street punks who raped and murdered his wife and daughter. It’s a film that feeds into the machismo fantasy that a good guy with a gun is the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun. Willis seems like a solid choice to carry out this fantasy, and assuming he gives a shit about his performance, this could be a memorable role for him.
That’s the big challenge with Willis: you never know which actor is going to show up. Is it the guy from Looper who genuinely cares about his performance and gives it his all? Or is it the guy who shows up to collect a paycheck and sleepwalks through the performance?
The other question is what will Keshales and Papushado bring to the project. I wasn’t a big fan of Big Bad Wolves, and I’m wondering if they were hired because MGM and Paramount just want to make something that rewards the audience’s hunger for violence. If so, this pairing will probably make a film that’s true to the original but even more gruesome.
Here’s the trailer for the 1974 film: