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 Polaroid, Coco, Chappaquiddick, and 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.
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.