Joe Carnahan Talks ‘Death Wish’ Remake Ideas & Casting

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 31st, 2013 at 10:45 am,


Joe Carnahan talks Death Wish Remake Joe Carnahan Talks Death Wish Remake Ideas & Casting

Just the other day it was announced that director Joe Carnahan (The A-Team) is poised to take the director’s chair on Death Wish, the remake of the ’70s revenge tale starring the Charles Bronson. Today, Carnahan is offering more details on his vision of the remake – as well as who he sees in Bronson’s iconic role.

The original Death Wish is loosely based on a novel by Brian Garfield. While the core story (a family man goes on a vigilante rampage after his wife and daughter are brutally assaulted) remains the same, the new Death Wish – like the original film – will take some liberties with how that story is conveyed. According to Carnahan, his vision for Death Wish is something reminiscent of films like Nicolas Winding Refn’s stylish crime thriller Drive, and Michael Mann’s Collateral.

Carnahan tweeted the following, on the matter:

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. … Refn did a phenomenal job shooting L.A. It took on a different dimension. That’s the key. … The only role I’m writing in ‘Death Wish’ which will mark the ONE time I’ve ever written exclusively for an actor, will be for @FrankGrillo.

Frank Grillo was a standout performer in The Grey, and showed that he can definitely play a tough-but-vulnerable badass type. He must of left a similar impression on Carnahan, which would explain why the director is pulling so hard for the lesser-known actor, who’s been featured in films like Warrior, as well as  TV shows like The Shield and Prison Break. Grillo will next be seen playing cops and robbers in the historical crime film The Gangster Squad this fall

Frank Grillo

The Grey had a nice debut in theaters, which means that Carnahan has a bit of clout when it comes to things like picking a leading man for his next film. However, unless the budget of Death Wish stays on the low side, it’s hard to imagine a studio backing the film with an actor like Grillo in the lead – as opposed to, say, Carnahan’s Grey leading man, Liam Neeson. Thankfully, Carnahan has already proven that he can take a low-budget urban tale, and turn it into something worthwhile (see: Narc)

There’s no timetable on when Death Wish will be in theaters. The remake is being produced through Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Production company.

Source: Twitter

TAGS: Death Wish
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  1. Well, NARC had Ray Liotta, I mean, not really a huge name, but people did know of him… Ray Liotta was awesome in NARC BTW, great movie.

    • An excellent movie with a great performance by Ray Liotta (and Jason Patric). I think Liotta was Carnahan’s first rehire, using the actor again in Smokin’ Aces.

  2. You hit it with “iconic role”. Why can’t they just leave some things alone. Why can’t he make his own revenge flick. Call it “Wish for Death” or something. Oh Wait! I see… he’s re-imagining a BOOK that’s already been re-imagined, not re-imagining a movie that was the re-imagining of the book. How clever! How about some real re-imagination and up with something NEW?

  3. Someone told me SearchRichSinlges c_o_m. It’s the place where you can meet millionaires, who are searching for their special someone.

    I think the previously released promo art was better than the ET cover. Reminds me of collectible trading cards and doesn’t have any “Avengers Unite” feel to it.

  4. Grillo is too young. I thought it would’ve been a no-brainer to cast Liam Neeson as the lead but I guess I was wrong….not sure why not though.

    • Frank Grillo turns 49 later this year.

  5. No one will ever be badass enough to fill Bronson’s shoes. I’m sorry. He came from a generation of guys who could be badasses and still act. Bronson, Coburn, McQueen, no one will ever hold a candle to those guys.
    I like Carnahan’s movies, but this is Bronson’s show, and it always will be. Nobody wields a sock full of nickels with badass aplomb quite like Mr. Buchinsky.

  6. Hollywood, enough is enough with the senseless reboots and remakes of films that are classic. No freakin imagination!

  7. Frank Grillo has done quality work for many years. Here’s hoping he gets the chance.

  8. Didn’t they already do this with Kevin Bacon and rename it “Death Sentence?”