Both studios wanted Bruce Willis for the lead role, originated by Charles Bronson in the 1974 original Death Wish, but the filmmaker wanted to go in another direction. Joe Carnahan signed on to write and direct the remake last January, although we've heard very little about the project since then. Last February, Frank Grillo, who starred in Joe Carnahan's The Grey, revealed that the filmmaker wanted to cast Russell Crowe as Paul Kersey, and Frank Grillo as Paul's brother.
It isn't known if Paramount and MGM plan on finding a new writer to start from scratch, or if they will still use Joe Carnahan's script. Now that Joe Carnahan is off the project, it remains to be seen if Paramount and MGM will stick to their demand of casting Bruce Willis, or if they will be open to another director's take on the material.