Like a dormant volcano waiting to erupt in a shower of blood-soaked lava, the Death Wish franchise has slumbered, occasionally nudging the seismic news--o–meters. Now there are real rumblings, with word that Joe Carnahan has been hired to write and direct a new take on Michael Winner's 1974 original (and Brian Garfield's novel).
Winner's film saw Charles Bronson assume the soon-to-be-iconic role of Paul Kersey, a liberal architect type who turns trigger-happy vigilante when his wife and daughter are brutally attacked. Swearing vengeance on criminal scum everywhere, he stalks the streets of New York taking out his victims.
Highly controversial and not exactly what you might call subtle, the film nevertheless sparked a wave of cinematic copycats and nudged the current action movie genre to ever more violent ends.
Four sequels were pumped out across the next 20 years, but eventually things came to a grinding halt with 1994's Death Wish V: The Face Of Death.
Back in 2007, Sylvester Stallone, then high on successfully bringing back Rocky and getting set to release the latest Rambo, had his eye on a Death Wish remake, with Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines writers Michael Ferris and John Brancato writing the script. They had plans for a franchise, but that never happened.
MGM and Paramount now have the rights, and Carnahan is the man they want to breathe new life into the bullet-ridden idea. He'll write and direct the new version, though there's no word on when he'll get to it, as his schedule is already crammed with likely movies. And because he's just seen The Grey top the box office charts in the US, chances are he might try to use that heat to ignite one of his long--gestating passion projects such as White Jazz. He's also setting up to make Killing Pablo.