|Directed by||:||Eli Roth||Produced by||:||Roger Birnbaum||Screenplay by||:||Joe Carnahan||Based on||:||Death Wish by Wendell Mayes Death Wish by Brian Garfield||Starring||:||Bruce Willis, Vincent D'Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Dean Norris,,Kimberly Elise||Cinematography||:||Rogier Stoffers||Production company||:||Scott Free|
‘Death Wish’ Was the Punisher Before Franke Castle Ever Was
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: An all-American family man whose wife is killed and daughter assaulted picks up his guns and embarks on a revenge-fueled rampage. Sound familiar? Well, we’re not talking about the Marvel series The Punisher. We’re talking about the reboot of Death Wish, starring Bruce Willis as Charles Bronson’s archetypical white male vigilante.
On Friday, a remake of Death Wish from horror director Eli Roth will hit theaters with Willis as Dr. Paul Kersey, a modified version of the same character Charles Bronson played in the original 1974 film. (Like Die Hard and Rambo, Death Wish was first published as a book, by Brian Garfield, in 1972.) But there are easy comparisons to Death Wish and the Marvel anti-hero the Punisher, who most recently had an actually great Netflix series starring Jon Bernthal. In the series, ex-Marine Frank Castle hunts down for the people who killed his family.
The character debuted in the comics in 1974, shortly before the film release of Death Wish and Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry which glorified vigilantism amidst high crime waves in America. “The time we were doing [the Punisher] was a time of a lot of social anxiety in New York City,” said co-creator Gerry Conway in an interview with Inverse back in November.
“We were experiencing real upticks in crime. Some of the response to that was talk of vigilantism. I think the book Death Wish had come up, also Dirty Harry, and that we were being weak on criminals and the proper response was to take them down.”