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Joe Carnahan Calls 'Death Wish' Remake "A Potential Oscar-Winning Film" In Livid Email To MGM

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist November 20, 2013 at 4:56PM

When Joe Carnahan exited the brewing remake of Charles Bronson's vigilante classic "Death Wish" earlier this year, it was reported that it was due to creative differences, specially casting. The studio wanted Bruce Willis and Carnahan, well, didn't. But it seems that difference of approach really burned up the filmmaker.
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Joe Carnahan Death Wish

When Joe Carnahan exited the brewing remake of Charles Bronson's vigilante classic "Death Wish" earlier this year, it was reported that it was due to creative differences, specially casting. The studio wanted Bruce Willis and Carnahan, well, didn't. But it seems that difference of approach really burned up the filmmaker.

For some reason, nearly seven months later, an email Carnahan sent to MGM CEO Jonathan Glickman in April has started making the rounds, and THR has decided to it from their inbox and put it online. And it's pretty livid, profanity laced stuff — excerpts below:

You had a potential Oscar-winning film with maybe the best script in Hollywood but because you're a coward and a dumb c--- you now have an untested, second-time director and an arrogant, lazy, aging action star that will run that poor kid into the ground.

Good luck, asshole. You're a spineless, gutless turd who doesn't belong in the business. Enjoy your run as a 'studio head,' Glickman. It's going to be a short one. F--- you, Joe Carnahan.

Yikes. So, who's the "untested, second-time director" Carnahan is referring too? Likely the seasoned and award-winning Gerardo Naranjo, who took over the gig in March (he's directed four feature films to date, fyi, including the excellent drug war drama "Miss Bala"). As for the actor who will ruin Naranjo's life? Probably the aforementioned Willis who MGM want to star (we agree with Carnahan on this point, he's totally wrong for the lead role).

As for the Oscar-winning potential, we suppose Carnahan is basing that opinion off his own script, and who knows maybe it is? In his favor is the fact that the original was nominated too......for Herbie Hancock's score.....

Anyway, reps for the director claim the email was a joke, that Carnhan and Glickman are "old friends" and that the MGM President even has the latter framed in his office. Even more, they say it's all cool because Carnahan is developing a project over at MGM TV (though, that's run under a different President altogether, Jim Packer).

Either way, if this is how Carnahan treats his friends, we'd hate to be his enemy.

This article is related to: Death Wish, Joe Carnahan


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