Looking back at the original Death Wish in 1974, Michael Winner‘s film starring a then-53-year-old Charles Bronson is a time capsule. The 70s saw ever escalating crime rates in America, and the population felt powerless before a rising tide of particularly urban violence where random shootings, muggings and other attacks were becoming a daily reality. Understandably, people thought that one man with gun and the guts to dispense rough justice might have been the answer, hence the popularity of Winner’s Death Wish, even though several cultural commentators felt that Winner’s film was feeding America negative reinforcement of easy justice at the end of a gun held in the right hands.
You could write an entire thesis on some of the ideas and themes contained in Death Wish, especially looking back 43 years into the past, but one wonders what will be seen in the Eli Roth remake starring Bruce Willis in four decades. The trailer for the new film was just released.
Well, setting the movie in Chicago was shrewd given recent news, but cuing the “Back in Black” as Willis’ Paul Kersey starts to go Judge Dredd on the Windy City underworld? That seems a little bizarre. Indeed, the trailer hits at the idea of a very bipolar movie. Is Roth trying to capture that middle class anxiety of out of control crime coming for you in your perfect home, or is this supposed to be fun seeing Kersey avenge the death of his wife and the attack on his daughter? If you’re playing AC/DC loud, you kind of throw subtlety out the window.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures presents director Eli Roth’s reimagining of the classic 1974 revenge thriller Death Wish. Dr. Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis) is a surgeon who only sees the aftermath of Chicago violence when it is rushed into his ER – until his wife (Elisabeth Shue) and college-age daughter (Camila Morrone) are viciously attacked in their suburban home. With the police overloaded with crimes, Paul, burning for revenge, hunts his family’s assailants to deliver justice. As the anonymous slayings of criminals grabs the media’s attention, the city wonders if this deadlyvigilante is a guardian angel or a grim reaper. Fury and fate collide in the intense, action-thriller Death Wish.
Paul Kersey becomes a divided person: A man who saves lives, and a man who takes them; a husband and father trying to take care of his family, and a shadowy figure fighting Chicago crime; a surgeon extracting bullets from suspects’ bodies, and the vigilante called “The Grim Reaper” who detectives are quickly closing in on.
Updated from the original novel by Brian Garfield, director Eli Roth and screenwriter Joe Carnahan’s (The Grey, Narc) Death Wish also stars Vincent D’Onofrio (The Magnificent Seven, TV’s Daredeviland Law & Order: Criminal Intent), Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas), Camila Morrone, Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) and Kimberly Elise (The Great Debaters). It’s a knife’s-edge portrayal that challenges our assumptions, and pushes our buttons.
By bringing the complex psychology of Brian Garfield’s book up-to-the-moment and injecting new thrills and a stark, unflinchinglook at the American psyche in 2017, Eli Roth and Death Wish brings audiences to the height of unforgettable suspense.
A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures production, Death Wish is set for release on November 22, 2017. It will be distributed in the U.S. by APR and internationally by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. Death Wish stars Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Camila Morrone, Dean Norris, Kimberly Elise. Directed by Eli Roth. Screenplay by Joe Carnahan, based on the 1974 Motion Picture by Wendell Mayes from the Novel by Brian Garfield. Producer, Roger Birnbaum. Associate Producer, Stephen J. Eads. Executive Producer, Ilona Herzberg. Director of Photography, Rogier Stoffers. Edited by Mark Goldblatt. Music by Ludwig Göransson. Production Design by Paul Kirby. Costume Design by Mary Jane Fort.
Death Wish co-stars Elizabeth Shue, Camila Morrone, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jack Kesy, Dean Norris, and Mike Epps and will be in theatres everywhere this November.