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Joe Carnahan Reveals Inspirations and Plans for ‘Death Wish’; Film Being Written for Frank Grillo

Written by on January 31, 2012 

If you want to talk about social network savvy filmmakers, Joe Carnahan is your man. He’s taken up a small corner of Twitter for himself up to and following the release of The Grey, and is doing so the right way: using it as a format to interact with fans and talk about his hopes for future endeavors. And, God love him, today sees the guy beating out the big trades to discuss his recently-announced Death Wish reboot.

As many assumed, the director won’t remake Bronson‘s classic, but will give us “a re-imagining of [Brian Garfield‘s] book” that’s set it in Los Angeles — or, “the L.A. of ‘Collateral,'” one that’s also inspired by Nicolas Winding Refn‘s work on Drive. For more on that, take this tweet into account:

“It’s on buses, cabs, metro trains. I want to show an unseen version of L.A. L.A. on foot. Prowling. Hunting. The vast emptiness of downtown.”

For me, the best onscreen depictions of a city take me to a place that — even if I know them well, be it through other works or personal experiences — feel entirely new. That’s just what Winding Refn did on Drive, and while I don’t know if Carnahan has the same “sleekness” that the Dane auteur was able to bring, you can count me as hopeful — if only because I’d love for a success. Better yet, my initial hopes for a Narc-style take on the material might be coming to fruition. But we’ll see.

Those of you who thought Liam Neeson would be take the lead could be disheartened at Carnahan‘s other revelation: The Grey co-star Frank Grillo will lead. Says the director: “The only role I’m writing in ‘Death Wish‘ which will mark the ONE time I’ve ever written exclusively for an actor, will be for [Frank Grillo].”

He’s obviously not as big a name as Neeson, but I can rally around the choice. It’s enough that Grillo‘s proven himself an adept character actor over the past few years — see him in Warrior, for example — a lack of familiarity could also make his transition to street-prowling killer more believable. If you’re telling it small, cast it small. Just do both right.

What do you think of Carnahan’s plans for Death Wish? Are you happy about Grillo’s casting?

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