A new, retro-style poster for Death Wish proclaims Bruce Willis is back. The original Death Wish was massively controversial upon release in 1974. The film starred Charles Bronson as an architect whose family is attacked by a gang, leaving his wife dead and his daughter in a coma. In his rage he soon picks up a gun and walks the streets of New York, killing any muggers or thieves he encounters. The frank violence and the idea of a normal civilian going on a killing spree made the film divisive at the time, but it also became a massive hit.
Death Wish lead to a host of imitators in the years ahead and eventually spawned four sequels of its own, where the violence became increasingly outlandish (ex. Death Wish 5 features Bronson killing a bad guy with an exploding football). A remake of the film has been mooted for years, with Sylvester Stallone first attempting to get one off the ground in 2006, in a story that would have featured a peaceful cop turning vigilante after his family is attacked. Eventually, Bruce Willis signed on with Eli Roth (Hostel) directing, which reimagines the lead character as a doctor seeking revenge on his wife’s killers.
Despite the initial posters and trailers for Death Wish making it appear like a straight-ahead thriller, the film has been leaning towards more retro, B-movie styled marketing in the lead up its March release. First, there was a gruesome Grindhouse-inspired trailer, and now the latest poster (via Dread Central) looks like something that came right out of the 1970s.
While the screenplay is credited to Joe Carnahan (The Grey), who developed the project for a number of years and wanted Liam Neeson to star, the filmmaker himself may not be happy about that. Carnahan wanted to make a grounded, realistic thriller but ran for the exit once Willis came onboard, sensing Death Wish would be turned into a generic revenge thriller. He famously wrote an angry email to an MGM executive on their casting choice after he left, branding Willis “lazy” and “arrogant” during his tirade.
The tagline for the Death Wish poster is pegging the film as an action comeback for Willis, but it remains to be seen if audiences will embrace it. The actor has become noticeably bored with the action genre in recent years, which can be seen best in his listless turn in A Good Day To Die Hard. He’s been content to show up in straight to DVD action films like Acts Of Violence and The Prince since then, where he gets well paid for what amount to cameo appearances.
There doesn’t seem to be much buzz surrounding the Death Wish remake either, but at least Willis fans have Glass and the forthcoming sixth Die Hard movie to look forward too, so hopefully, the star will bring his A-game to both projects.
Source: Dread Central
- Death Wish (2018) release date: Mar 02, 2018