Stallone for Death Wish remake?
Sylvester Stallone is apparently in talks to direct a remake of the classic Death Wish starring Charles Bronson, as well as taking over the role that Bronson played for many a sequel. Is Stallone the right choice?
The original Death Wish turned into a franchise of sequels and saw Charles Bronson play a New York architect whose life is changed when his wife is murdered by a street gang. He turns into a vigilante and channels his rage and fear into killing those who attempt to do him harm on the streets during his night time prowls. The original was directed by Michael Winner.
The MGM CEO, Rick Sands, sounds very positive about getting Stallone on board and says through Variety:
"We are looking at our library to determine which potential franchise properties make the most sense for us to produce, and 'Death Wish' was clearly one of that jumped out...We hope to get a deal done with Sylvester Stallone to direct and star, and like the 'Rocky' and 'Rambo' films, we see this as another potential franchise for him."
Although I'm not sure Death Wish needs a remake, I think it could be done and done well. There's still that same feeling in today's society about the need for protection, that feeling of helplessness and wrong doing, and that desire for revenge, perhaps more than ever in fact. Vigilante films always do well because many of us hold that desire to be able to go out and seek revenge for the wrongs that are done against us, however the majority never do because of our moral brakepoints and what society has taught us.
I think they really would have to rework this film and really modernise it, making use of how we carry those feelings today and tapping into that hidden desire for revenge and retribution. If they can do that then perhaps there's a very real film to be made.
However, that said, there's the question of why The Brave One starring Jodie Foster really failed, was it because there was a woman in the lead, or was it that the public don't want to see that desire addressed on screen? That could really affect how well this film does.
Whatever the outcome, Sylvester Stallone is a good choice to helm the film, he can really channel that passion that we've seen in the new Rocky (Filmstalker review), the anger and revenge that we're going to see in the script of Rambo, and the powerful acting from Cop Land. I do think he could do a remake of Death Wish a great justice.