That remake of Charles Bronson's Death Wish just can't seem to get going, even after years of aborted attempts. Most recently we learned that Bruce Willis was set to star in the vigilante flick with Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado, best known for the Israeli hit Big Bad Wolves, ready to direct. Well, you can scratch the duo out now because Deadline reports they've dropped out.
"Creative differences" is the given reason for their departure, and apparently it all has to do with the screenplay. Keshales and Papushado wanted to make the screenplay funnier, bringing in some of that dark gallows humor that worked so well in Big Bad Wolves. However, that's not what the studio wanted since Willis had already signed off on the screenplay originated by Joe Carnahan when he was attached. The duo say something a little bit different in a post they released to social media, claiming they wanted to make the film simpler and grittier.
"....in reality there were huge differences between our vision and the vision of the studio with the famous roaring lion… we wanted to stay away from the original and problematic (albeit fun to watch) Michael Winner film, and move more towards the spirit of the original novel by Brian Garfield – an excellent minimalist novel that never got the cinematic treatment it deserved. We wanted to follow the vision of the director who originally was set to make it, but ultimately was not allowed to – Sidney Lumet. Lumet wanted to direct a film about a simple man, he even thought of Jack Lemmon for the lead, which experiences a terrible tragedy and then falls to the depths of hell. When we imagined the thriller in our minds we thought Taxi Driver, Falling Down… with a bloodcurdling finale like Sicario."
So now the search is on for someone else to take over and maintain the tone that Willis wants, which is probably going to be a middle-of-the-road action film with not a lot of insights.