The highly-anticipated Death Wish reboot, in which action star extraordinaire Bruce Willis is to star, has finally found its new director — or directors, we should say. Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado (Big Bad Wolves) have been selected to direct the film, reports Deadline, which has been in limbo for years.
Joe Carnahan, known for projects like The A-Team, Narc, and most recently, for writing and directing some episodes of The Blacklist, wrote the script and was originally slated to direct. However, he left the project back in 2013, apparently after Willis was cast in the lead. He tweeted a message noting that he was sticking to his guns, saying “you only make the things and do the work you love and believe in.”
You stick to your guns. You walk what you talk and you only make the things and do the work you love and believe in.
— Joe Carnahan (@carnojoe) February 22, 2013
Adapted from a novel written by Brian Garfield in 1972, the original Death Wish franchise starred stoic ’70s badass Charles Bronson as the lead vigilante killer Paul Kersey, who seeks revenge on the men who murdered his wife and raped his daughter. The popular series included five films released between 1974 and 1994: Death Wish (1974), Death Wish II (1982), Death Wish 3 (1985), Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987), and Death Wish V: The Face of Death (1994).
A sixth movie, based very loosely on the novel, was released in 2007 and starred Kevin Bacon. Sylvester Stallone had expressed interest in a remake of the franchise in 2006, but that never came to fruition. Bronson passed away in 2003 at the age of 81.
Production is reportedly set to begin this summer by Paramount — which released the original franchise — and MGM, which acquired its rights. It will be produced by Roger Birnbaum.
This new directing team holds promise. Their film, Israeli black comedy/thriller Big Bad Wolves, was released in 2013 with similar vigilante and murderous themes, and it developed somewhat of a cult following. With their talents and Willis’ familiarity as a bad-ass vigilante, the Death Wish remake may prove to be a success.