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Trivia / Death Wish

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Entries in this franchise with their own Trivia pages:

  • Death Wish II
  • Death Wish 3
  • Death Wish 4: The Crackdown
  • Death Wish V: The Face of Death
  • Death Wish (2018)

  • Channel Hop: The film was going to be made by United Artists, until budget constraints forced producers Hal Landers and Bobby Roberts to liquidate their rights. The original producers were replaced by Italian film mogul Dino De Laurentiis who brought the project to Paramount.
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  • Completely Different Title: In Spain, the film was released as El Vengador Anonimo (The Anonymous Avenger).
  • Disowned Adaptation: Brian Garfield, the author of the original novel, sued the filmmakers for twisting the source material (ironically, the point of Garfield's novel was that vigilante tactics weren't the solution). You can probably guess from the four subsequent sequels that he lost.
  • Jossed: It has been rumored that Denzel Washington played one of the alley thugs at around 47 minutes (albeit uncredited). While the actor in the film may bear a resemblance, Washington confirmed in a 2016 interview with Yahoo! that he did not appear in the film nor had he even started acting yet in 1974. Washington also stated in the interview that he saw it added to his IMDb page.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Burt Lancaster, George C. Scott and Frank Sinatra were offered the role of Paul Kersey, but backed out.
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    • The role of Paul Kersey was originally meant for Steve McQueen, who turned it down.
    • Sidney Lumet was set to direct the film with Jack Lemmon playing Paul Kersey (presumably to be more in line with the "everyman" character in the book) and Henry Fonda as the police chief. After Lumet chose to direct ''Serpico instead, both Lemmon and Fonda dropped out.
    • At one point the movie was set to be shot in black-and-white.
    • Lee Marvin was another candidate for Paul Kersey.
    • The killing in the subway station was supposed to remain off-screen in the script, but Michael Winner himself decided to turn this into an actual, brutal scene.
    • The early draft of the script had the vigilante being inspired by seeing a fight scene in High Noon. Winner decided on a more elaborate scene, involving a fight scene in a recreation of the Wild West, taking place in Tucson, Arizona.
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    • After the success of Dirty Harry, Clint Eastwood was offered the role of Paul Kersey but declined, feeling he would be poorly cast. He also thought that Gregory Peck would have been right for the part.
    • One draft ended with Kersey confronting the three thugs who attacked his family and ends up dead at their hands. Detective Ochoa discovers his weapon and considers following in his footsteps. In another, Kersey is wounded and rushed to a hospital. His fate is left ambiguous. Meanwhile, Ochoa has found the weapon and struggles with the decision to use it. His decision is left unclear.
  • Working Title: Dino De Laurentiis and Paramount originally wanted to call the film The Sidewalk Vigilante because they thought a movie with "Death" in the title was a deterrent and would put audiences off.

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