Not long ago, filmmaker Joe Carnahan (“The Grey,” “Narc”) exited Paramount and MGM’s upcoming “Death Wish” remake over creative differences. Carnahan had hoped to get his collaborator Frank Grillo in the lead role, but ultimately we’re getting a film starring Bruce Willis and directed by Eli Roth.
Carnhan had penned a script for it, one that goes some very dark places both in terms of action and intent. With Roth onboard, the script has undergone significant re-writes and is now said to more closely resemble the 1970s vigilante cult classic. As a result, Carnahan has revealed he hopes of one day reworking his draft into an original story of his own. He spoke with Collider about the changes and his potential plans:
“It’s being shot right now, they’re off shooting a version of that script with Bruce Willis, I think in Montreal, maybe Chicago? I’m not sure. It’s, you know, if you don’t have something nice to say, you probably shouldn’t say it.
I got a glimpse of that script, that was reported to be kind of a re-engineering of my script, and I would be less than hospitable if I commented on that. And whatever, I think they’re gonna get exactly what they want, and that wasn’t what I was interested in doing, and bully to them for sticking their guns, and I’m content to stick to mine, and that script will live to fight another day.
That’s what I’m gonna look forward to, because it’s so radically different from what I did that I’m confident I can rework that into something just as good as it is on the page. It’s really a great script, man.
I don’t think there’s any question about [still making it], and I think I’ll wait a few years and explore that, because I believe that it’s, in terms of that genre and revenge vigilante, I just thought it was so cool. And it’s set in a completely different place.
A big part of mine was where it was set, which is L.A. It wasn’t cold weather, it wasn’t a Chicago or New York film, it was an L.A. film, and it was much more of a Michael Mann kind of world, Collateral kind of world, than it was the original Bronson. And I think they’re going back to something that hews more closely to that, which is fine, but I’ll be interested to see what it does and what the reception is.”
Carnahan’s script reportedly follows a surgeon-turned-vigilante and his take is all about exploring Los Angeles on foot, a place of prowling hunters and vast emptiness between pockets of civilisation.