Just a few days ago, fans got their first look at the Death Wish trailer, which stars Bruce Willis as the iconic Paul Kersey, originally portrayed by the iconic Charles Bronson. Director Eli Roth recently shed some new light on this remake in an interview, where he revealed that he wants this Death Wish remake to revitalize Bruce Willis’ career and serve as his “comeback.” Here’s what the director had to say below.
“We wanted to bring back that great, classic Bruce Willis we all know and love and just do a fun, badass update of a revered classic. I wanted to bring Bruce back to that Fifth Element, Unbreakable, Die Hard glory and have him craft another iconic performance, and I really think he did it. I mean I really think this can be his Taken.”
The director revealed this statement in an interview with Yahoo! Movies, and while the actor has not had a shortage of work, his recent movies like First Kill, Precious Cargo and Marauders have failed to make a big impact at the box office. The director also talked about moving the remake to Chicago, which has had a recent murder epidemic, which the filmmaker revealed is addressed in the film. Here’s what he had to say below.
“We tried to keep it real, but this isn’t the movie to fully tackle that subject matter because it’s so grim and it’s such a big problem, you’re not gonna solve it in a film like Death Wish.”
Aside from moving the film from New York to Chicago, there are also other differences, with Eli Roth turning Paul Kersey from a New York architect to a Chicago surgeon. Still, Paul Kersey is a mild-mannered family man who goes off the rails once his wife (Elizabeth Shue) and daughter (Camila Morrone) are the victims of a violent home invasion. The director also teased that the traits Paul Kersey possesses that makes him a great surgeon, are what ultimately make him a great killer too.
“What’s interesting about Death Wish is it’s not a CIA guy who’s coming out of retirement, you know, he’s not John Wick, he’s not a professional assassin. He’s a normal guy, he’s a surgeon, he’s a dad, he’s never picked up a gun in his life. This Paul Kersey learns how to handle steel by watching YouTube videos and at one point almost gets merked by his own ricocheted bullet. And with each kill as he gets closer to finding the people that did this to his family, he gains a new skill. He gets better and better and better. So by the end of the film he’s really much closer to John McClane… The very things that make him a good surgeon are what eventually make him a great killer.”
The supporting cast for Death Wish include Mike Epps, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jack Kesy, Dean Norris and Beau Knapp. Eli Roth directs from a screenplay by Joe Carnahan, who at one point was attached to direct, adapted from the Brian Garfield novel. Hopefully we’ll have more on this Death Wish remake soon, as we get closer to the November 22 release date.