Director Eli Roth’s reboot of the benchmark revenge thriller Death Wish has been postponed until 2018. Roth’s interpretation of the classic Charles Bronson film was due to hit theaters in the crowded Thanksgiving week this year, but action movie fans will now have to wait until the New Year to watch Bruce Willis clean up the mean streets of Chicago.
The original Death Wish movie was released in 1974 and directed by controversial UK filmmaker Michael Winner. It was famous for revitalising the career of Bronson, and for its contentious depiction of vigilante justice, which riled many a film critic and politician at the time. It became a franchise and eventually spawned four sequels, all with Bronson reprising his role as lead character Paul Kersey. The remake has had an ‘eventful’ journey to theaters. Sylvester Stallone announced his intention to direct it back in 2006, but that version of the project ultimately fell apart. The reboot thereafter went through three different directors – Joe Carnahan in 2012, Gerardo Naranjo in 2013, and Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado in 2016 – before Roth signed on.
Once Roth signed on as the director, things began to move more quickly and Willis was confirmed in the lead role of vigilante Kersey. The first trailer dropped two months ago, and the film was all set for a general release on November 22, just in time for Thanksgiving. However, Deadline is now confirming that the intended release date for the movie has been officially pushed back. Annapurna Pictures have moved the film away from this year’s busy Thanksgiving frame, setting it to arrive on March 2nd of next year instead.
It would appear that the decision to move Death Wish back was driven primarily by a desire to avoid the already over-crowded Thanksgiving 2017 frame and instead launch the film over a less competitive weekend. Of course, it is possible that the mass shooting in Las Vegas earlier this week had some impact on this decision too, given Death Wish‘s highly-violent subject matter. As it stands, Roth’s Death Wish is now set to open in theaters on the same day that the Jennifer Lawrence-headlined spy thriller Red Sparrow is scheduled to arrive.
The first trailer for Death Wish did seem a little generic, but Roth is known for applying a grindhouse feel to his movies and may be able to recapture the grittiness of the 1974 version with his reboot. Along with Willis – who could easily do a great job as the enraged vigilante – there is a strong supporting cast in the reboot too, including Vincent D’Onofrio and Elisabeth Shue. Hopefully, the push-back is merely a scheduling decision and there are no post-production issues or other problems with Death Wish for moviegoers to be concerned about.
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