A groovy 1974 New York vigilante will get a contemporary makeover by an up-and-coming Mexican filmmaker. Gerardo Naranjo will take over the director role for the remake of the crime thriller “Death Wish.”
According to Variety, helmer Joe Carnahan was initially set to direct the project and it was rumored that he was courting various artists for the lead role of Paul Kersey played by Charles Bronson in the original film, among the actors considered were Brad Pitt, Will Smith and Bruce Willis. After not being able to land a lead, Carnahan left the project back in February and MGM decided to bring in Naranjo.
“Death Wish” is the story is Paul Kersey, an architect in New York City that decides to take the law into his hands by becoming a vigilante after police tell him that the chance of catching the criminals that murdered his wife and raped his daughter are small.
Naranjo has directed various films in his native Mexico but is most known for his 2011 “Miss Bala,” based loosely on the story of a beauty queen that gets sucked into playing part of a narco group’s dirty work. The movie is produced by Canana Films, Gael Garcia Bernal’s and Diego Luna’s production company.
Naranjo really comes as an angel for MGM because he is a talented director. According to an article by The New York Times, he has been one of the few directors to bring Mexico’s drug war to screen through the eyes of its victims, and the general population that becomes passive out of fear. His work in the acclaimed film shows that he has what it takes to bring those dark and violent elements that fans would expect from “Death Wish” but with a fresh non-Hollywood point of view that will attract newer generations.
Judging by the triumphs of “Miss Bala” there are high expectations for Naranjo to make “Death Wish” a sucess but most importantly to allow Hollywood to continue giving new directors, especially Latinos, the opportunity to crossover into the mainstream industry just like Uruguayan filmmaker Fede Alvarez with his upcoming film, the remake of “Evil Dead.”
We are definitely excited to see what the Mexican director will bring to the table and have a feeling that he won’t be a let-down.
Let us know what are your thoughts on Naranjo and his future work with “Death Wish” and if you think that someone else could do a better job.