Elisabeth Shue Reveals Her Fate in Upcoming 'Death Wish' Remake

Shue plays Bruce Willis' wife in Eli Roth's upcoming version of the 1974 vigilante classic.
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Elisabeth Shue

It's not too much of a spoiler to reveal that Elisabeth Shue, who plays Bruce Willis' wife in Eli Roth's upcoming remake of the 1974 vigilante classic Death Wish, gets killed off early in the film.

"I get shot in the head," she says of the film, which centers on a man avenging the brutal murder of his wife. "It's very subtle, but then you see me dead in a hospital." These days, though, portraying a slab on a gurney turns out to be easier than it was when Hope Lange did it in the original Charles Bronson film. For one thing, you don't have to hold your breath anymore.

“They have special effects to stop your eyes and to stop your breathing,” the Battle of the Sexes actress says with a laugh. “That’s why you can’t see the breathing anymore.”

In other words, no more Psycho cutaways. To hide Janet Leigh’s visible breath when she was supposed to be dead in the shower, they ended up with one of movie-making’s most iconic scenes by cutting away to the showerhead with just the sound of running water.

Death Wish marks Shue’s second time dying onscreen. In 2005’s Hide and Seek, she was thrown out a second-story window to her death. And then there was her dead-but-then-not-dead work in The Saint. “I was supposed to die in The Saint,” she recalls. “I died but then they reshot it and I lived. They tested the movie and I guess audiences didn’t want me to die.”

Death Wish is set to hit theaters on March 2.

A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.