Joe Carnahan Will Revise Death Wish Remake Script, Still Wants Frank Grillo

Posted 11:59 AM July 13th, 2014 by Fred Topel
Joe Carnahan

Joe Carnahan is still working on a remake of the Charles Bronson film Death Wish, which became a lucrative franchise for Bronson. It would require a rewrite, since MGM passed on Carnahan’s first script. Carnahan spoke with the Television Critics Association today for his upcoming NBC show State of Affairs and we asked him if he would still cast his The Grey star Frank Grillo as Paul Kersey, the vigilante of Death Wish.

“I may still cast him in Death Wish,” Carnahan said. “We don’t know. I don’t know. That’s a conversation I have to have with MGM but I’m really keen in trying to figure out a way to get back in there and solve that. I had a buddy of mine who’s a writer/director read the script and just sent me a love letter about it, so it’s one of those scripts I have to go back and sort it out, which I will.”

Based on the Brian Garfield book, Paul Kersey (Bronson) becomes a vigilante after his wife and daughter are attacked. With no leads on the killers, Kersey just goes after any mugger or criminal he can find.

“As Tarantino said quite beautifully, revenge never gets old,” Carnahan said. “I think that idea of revenge and the way that story is written and the very unique way I think we put it together, it has a quality to it that’s classic. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel.”

Before Carnahan, Sylvester Stallone was attached to a Death Wish remake. With Grillo or an actor of his type, Carnahan’s Death Wish could be different than either Bronson’s five films or Stallone’s attempt.

“The version I wrote is a very different version,” Carnahan said. “The ideal age for the Paul Kersey I wrote is max 40. He’s meant to be a guy in his late 30s with a family, but he’s not meant to be a Bronson aged or Stallone aged kind of guy. Nothing against that, I just don’t think it’s as interesting as a younger guy who hasn’t been through the travails of manhood and machismo. You get this guy that gets in a really, really, really dire, really grave situation and loses his whole family, but I think it’s done in a way that’s new.”

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