Internationally loved cologne salesman, Charles Bronson, was already a massive star by the time he made Death Wish, but it’s his role as Paul Kersey that might be his most famous simply because he owns it completely. Sure he’s rugged and charismatic in The Dirty Dozen, he’s surprisingly vulnerable in The Great Escape, but in the Death Wish movies he’s in command and the streets bow down to him.
So maybe a remake is in order? According to the LA Times, that’s the thinking of MGM and Paramount, and the partnership wants Joe Carnahan to clean up from fighting wolves for The Grey and come help them out with it. It must be tough coming out of bankruptcy, but MGM really has nothing except remake concepts going for them. That’s pretty damned sad.
Of course, the big question with a remake like this (beyond the fact that remakes aren’t doing good business currently) is how to re-create something that tapped into a social feeling in the 1970s. The same heat just isn’t there, there is no grand panic in society of rising crime rates and a feeling of helplessness in the face of a bewildered law enforcement culture. In fact, police are so good at doing their jobs now, they even find time to pepper spray people in the face at random. So who becomes the villain here? And even better, who could possibly replace Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey? Jason Statham did the job recently for The Mechanic, but the role here requires more than just action.