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Joe Carnahan Leaves Death Wish
Grey director abandons vigilante remake

26 February 2013  |  Written by Owen Williams  |  Source: Deadline

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Joe Carnahan

You may remember the news from almost exactly a year ago that The Grey director Joe Carnahan was embarking on a new version of the vigilante classic Death Wish. Well you can now forget it again, since Carnahan has just walked from the project, citing creative differences with the studios involved. The key issue seems to have been MGM and Paramount's desire to cast Bruce Willis in the lead.

Michael Winner's original film, of course, starred Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey, an architect who decides he just isn't going to take it any more when tragedy strikes. He actually began the series as a kind of everyman character, but evolved into an invincible death machine over four sequels.

Brian Garfield, who wrote the book on which the first film was based, intensely disliked Winner's take on the material, and Carnahan's intention was to go back to that novel, but relocate it to present-day Los Angeles. "I want to show an unseen version of LA," he said at the time. "LA on foot, prowling, hunting, the vast emptiness of downtown..." It looked set to finally be the vehicle for the '70s styled crime aesthetic he's clearly itching to get on screen (check out his "sizzle reel" pitch trailers for the unmade Daredevil and Gemini Man).

It's not to be, however. "I wrote a very, very specific character for Death Wish and wasn't willing to alter it," Carnahan explained via Twitter. "You stick to your guns. You walk what you talk and you only make the things and do the work you love and believe in. Zero issue with Bruce; I'm a huge fan. I would hope to work with him somewhere down the range one day."

Death Wish will continue in other hands, it seems. Carnahan, meanwhile, has plenty of other projects to busy himself with, including his long-developing Pablo Escobar biopic Killing Pablo; the James Ellroy adaptation White Jazz; the thriller Narco Sub, inherited from the late Tony Scott; and Mark Millar's Nemesis, which Carnahan says he's currently "crushing".


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Your Comments

"Down These Mean Streets A Man Must Go..."
Death Wish won't work with Bruce Willis or Stallone or any of those action hardmen. We've seen them kill all the baddies and win too often. The hero of Death Wish has to be an average guy that the audience will worry for when he takes on the muggers. Benicio Del Toro would be in the Charles Bronson mould and could be a good choice. It would be hilarious to see King Nerd himself Jesse Eisenberg take on the muggers, you'd shit your pants every second for him, ha ha. Oh, and Jeff Goldblum has to h More

Posted by BenTramer at 17:58 on 26 February 2013 | Report This Post

New faces or forgotten ones
I'm just tired of seeing Bruce Willis doing Bruce Willis...I mean I enjoy Brucie but he doesn't need to be in everything! Why can't Hollywood just look for new faces...there are so many unemployed actors that would die for something like this. OR get forgotten people like Tom Selleck or Steve Guttenberg for a role like this. Something they never done bbefore...I would love to see that. More

Posted by KingOfPop at 16:05 on 26 February 2013 | Report This Post

Gemini Man
that was a great trailer. that film has been in development hell forever. i dont know about Clint now (10 years ago yes - same for Connery) so who? Bruce has done his own version with Looper, Arnie has already been CGed and doubled(T4, Sixth Day) but maybe Ford (fighting Deckard) or Gibson (fighting Mad Max Mel) More

Posted by jackcarter at 13:05 on 26 February 2013 | Report This Post

Fair Play
Bruce has done some quality films over the years - Pulp Fiction, Sin City, Die Hard 1-3, Twelve Monkeys - but has also done a lot of cr4p! His CV in the past decade hasn't exactly been brilliant - Surrogates, Cop Out, Expendables, RED, G.I. Joe, Die Hard 4-5 - so I say fair play to Carnahan for sticking to his guns if he doesn't think he's right for the job. Since he's gone bald, Willis does have a tendency to 'just be Bruce Willis' in every film these days. More

Posted by Bobby TwoTimes at 10:19 on 26 February 2013 | Report This Post

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