The new trailer for the remake of violent 80s thriller ‘Death Wish’ arrived last week, but a backlash is now steadily brewing.
Starring Bruce Willis taking up the vigilante role Charles Bronson immortalised in the 70s (and 80s) originals, and directed by one-time Quentin Tarantino protege Eli Roth, it’s being accused of racism and peddling ‘alt-right’ propaganda.
You can check it out below…
It finds Willis’s doctor-turned-violent revenge merchant Dr. Paul Kersey taking out the trash when his wife is murdered and daughter attacked by thugs in Chicago.
Suffice to say, with tensions high in Chicago around its rocketing murder rates, it’s not gone down amazingly well.
Angry, old white man becomes an armed vigilante against Chicago civilians. That's a dangerous message. Is Death Wish alt-right fan fiction? pic.twitter.com/7VIrMbLWXv
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) August 3, 2017
Maybe it's the marketing, but seems a strange time to give a high-five to an older angry white dude going vigilante with lots of guns.
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) August 3, 2017
Eli Roth remaking Death Wish with Bruce Willis gunning down minorities while wearing a hoodie. pic.twitter.com/i8Zm2yozKs
— Justin Clark (@justinofclark) August 3, 2017
Eli Roth's Death Wish remake is so nakedly fascist that alt-righters will have an erection before the trailer ends https://t.co/sDY5fQXR9W
— Alan Zilberman (@alanzilberman) August 3, 2017
Forbes movie critic Scott Mendelson added:
Fair or not, I can't think of a more tone-deaf idea in this political/social environment than white filmmakers remaking #DEATHWISH…
— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) August 3, 2017
Roth has responded to the derision, after being collared on the street by TMZ, he said that creating a ‘alt-right fantasy’ was not his intent.
Asked what he thought about the furore he said: “I got to say, it’s the just the ‘alt-right’ amount of controversy, because that was the number one trending video on YouTube this morning.
“Do I like it? You know what, I’m really proud of the movie, and when people see the movie in context I think this is all going to evaporate.
“Everyone is very sensitive, everyone is ready to take a stance against something, but c’mon guys.
“You have to be aware of your audience. If you want to handle that subject matter, you have to be smart about it. And we do. When you see the film, you’ll see exactly how we handle the killing, how it’s not about race. It’s about good, it’s about bad. But you know what, everyone gets a taste of justice in this movie.
“Here’s the great thing about it. You don’t have to see it! You don’t want to see it? Don’t. It’s not required viewing. But that trailer already has 12 million views in 24 hours. It’s exploding online.”
“It’s the best Bruce Willis movie in 20 years,” he added.
Also starring Vincent D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Dean Norris and Mike Epps, it’s due out in November.