A new retro grindhouse-style trailer has been revealed for Bruce Willis’ forthcoming remake Death Wish. The original Death Wish from 1974 starred Charles Bronson as an architect whose wife and daughter are attacked in a home invasion, leading to him picking up a gun and shooting any muggers or punks he comes across. The film proved majorly controversial upon release, which of course also means it was a big hit. The film went on to spawn a host of imitators and a further four sequels.
The follow-ups gradually dropped any pretence of social commentary and became cartoony action movies where an aging Charles Bronson started blowing away street gangs with machine guns and rocket launchers. A remake of Death Wish has been brewing for awhile, with Sylvester Stallone being announced as the star and director in 2006. His take would have seen a peaceful cop turning vigilante once his family is assaulted, but the star soon left the project after creative differences. Joe Carnahan also worked on it for a few years and wanted Liam Neeson for the lead, but left when Bruce Willis was cast instead.
Now a new red band trailer has been revealed for Death Wish, which plays up the gore and Grindhouse–style nature of the film. Where previous trailers for the movie played things relatively straight, this new preview is designed to make it look like an old-school action movie from the ’70s or ’80s. The trailer’s claim that director Eli Roth is a “Horror Master” is debatable, however.
Joe Carnahan is still credited with writing the script and his name appears on the trailer, which may not thrill the filmmaker. Death Wish was a pet project for Carnahan but he famously exited the project once Willis came onboard. His foul-mouthed email to the head of MGM on the subject soon leaked out, where he lambasted the studio for their decision and branded the actor “…an arrogant, lazy, aging action star…”
Willis himself has been accused of coasting in recent years. His turns in A Good Day To Die Hard and RED 2 were positively sleepy, and in the years since he’s most commonly seen in straight to DVD fare like Acts Of Violence, where he gets well paid for making extended cameos. There’s hope, however, that with Death Wish and forthcoming sequel Glass that the star will up his game and make a big screen comeback. While Death Wish is hardly doing anything new with the genre, at the very least Willis looks like he’s having a good time.
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