For the Charles Bronson version, see Paul Kersey
Paul Kersey








The Grim Reaper

First Appearance

Death Wish (2018)

Portrayed By

Bruce Willis

Paul Kersey is the main protagonist of the 2018 version of Death Wish.


Early LifeEdit

Death Wish (2018)Edit

Paul Kersey is known to be a neurosurgeon living in Chicago, whose wife was brutally murdered and his daughter put into a coma. Paul spent months trying to deal with the situation, returning to work and growing frustrated with the lack of progress on the case.

As his frustration mounts, Paul considers buying guns and becoming a vigilante, but changes his mind when he learns that the guns can be traceable to him. After an injured gang member Paul is treating drops a Glock in the emergency room, Paul steals the gun and begins using online videos to train himself in using it. Dressed in hoodies stolen from the hospital laundry, Paul kills two carjackers and later a drug dealer known as the Ice Cream Man when the dealer shoots a young boy in the leg simply for walking by him. In the process, Paul's gun inexperience causes him to injure his hand. Paul's actions cause him to become known as a vigilante known as the Grim Reaper.

While treating a mortally wounded man, Paul recognizes him as Miguel, the valet from the restaurant he visited with his wife and daughter shortly before the attack. On Miguel's wrist, Paul sees his stolen watch, a birthday gift from his wife and daughter and realizes Miguel's involvement in the crime. Paul later steals back his watch and locates Miguel's cell phone. On the phone, Paul discovers a picture of the GPS of his car with his home address and a text with a picture of his watch pointing to a liquor store.

Donning his Grim Reaper disguise again, Paul visits the liquor store which proves to be a fencing operation for the goods stolen by the gang who robbed his house and attacked his wife and daughter. The owner quickly realizes who Paul is and calls one of the gang members, Fish, for backup. Paul catches on quickly and subdues the owner, forcing him to take Paul to his stolen belongings. Fish arrives and engages in a shootout with Paul, accidentally killing the store owner in the process. Using the store's security cameras to guide him, Paul manages to wound Fish who points him to a mechanic named Joe as the killer and then attacks again. Thanks to a falling bowling ball, Paul is able to kill Fish and escape with his cell phone which Fish had stated contained the information on Joe as well as the hard drive containing the security footage.

In the aftermath, Paul uses Internet videos to guide him in destroying the security footage. As he prepares to go after Joe, he is interrupted by Frank who he is rude to, thinking Frank only wants more money. However, Frank brings the news that he has gotten a job and is able to finally pay Paul back, highlighting Paul's distance from his remaining family. Paul is also visited by detectives Raines and Jackson who reveal the identity of Fish as one of the robbers. Concerned about the cops tracking Fish's phone to him, Paul destroys it.

At night, Paul visits Joe's mechanics shop, having gotten the location from Fish's phone. Knocking Joe unconscious, Paul traps him beneath a jacked-up car then tortures Joe for information. Joe identifies a man named Knox as the killer and insists he doesn't know where Knox can be found. Though Paul believes Joe, he drops the car on Joe's head, crushing it and killing him. Paul is later contacted by Knox who forces Paul into a confrontation in a club. During a gunfight, both men are injured but escape alive.

In the aftermath, Paul is confronted by Frank who has realized that Paul is the Grim Reaper. As the confrontation goes on, Raines and Jackson arrive, now believing Paul to be the Grim Reaper due to a tip-off from the injured Knox but are sent away by Frank. Paul then gets the call that Jordan has finally woken up. With his daughter awake and traumatized by the news of her mother's murder, Paul decides to end his Grim Reaper days in favor of being a father to his daughter.

A week later, Jordan is released from the hospital. In the elevator on the way out, Paul and Jordan are joined by Knox who Jordan doesn't recognize as she has no memory of the night of the attack. Knox's strange behavior and the fact that he had been in the hospital for a gunshot wound arouse Paul's suspicions. After Knox calls Paul by name, Paul realizes who he is, but doesn't tip his hand. Later that day, Paul returns to the gun store to legally buy weapons to legally defend his family against Knox's inevitable attack.

Some time later, after Frank leaves, Paul spots a man run across the lawn and realizes what is about to happen. Paul quickly hides Jordan in a closet beneath the stairs and instructs her to call 911 while he prepares to fight back. As Knox and two men break in, Paul sets a trap on the second floor by running the shower. When one man goes to check it out, Paul ambushes him and shoots the man through the head at point-blank range. Next, Paul hides under the bed next to which the man's body fell. When the man's partner investigates, Paul uses his pistol and the man he killed's rifle to shoot the other bad guy, sending him crashing through the banister to the floor below, breaking his neck and killing him.

After reassuring Jordan, Paul moves to the basement where he's shot in the arm by Knox and disarmed. As Jordan desperately calls out to him, Knox taunts Paul about his intention to burn Jordan alive. While Knox is distracted with Jordan's cries, Paul retrieves an AR-15 hidden in his coffee table, a special method of hiding a weapon offered by the gun store and opens fire on Knox, killing him just before the police arrive. In the aftermath, Paul speaks with Detective Raines and claims that both his arm wound and his nearly healed hand injury come from the gunfight. With Paul having legally obtained the weapons with the paperwork to prove it and having killed Knox and his men in defense of his family, he is cleared of the shootings from that night. Though both Raines and Paul subtly acknowledge the knowledge that Paul is the Grim Reaper, Paul subtly tells Raines that he is done with being the Grim Reaper, stating that he has gotten rid of his Glock for good. Satisfied by this and the fact that justice has been done, Raines leaves Paul be.

Months later, Paul accompanies Jordan to her move in at NYU. Paul is implied to have moved to New York City to start over and be close to Jordan. As Paul walks down the street, he spots a man stealing from a bellhop. Catching the man's attention, Paul points a finger gun at him, implying that his Grim Reaper days may not be over afterall.


Shown to be cool and collected, a stark contrast to Bronson's Kersey who is more stoic and serious.


  • Skilled marksmen Paul learned to how to use a gun from watching tutorials
  • Skilled vigilante Paul is a regular man a vigilante by night

Family and relationshipsEdit

  • Frank Kersey (brother)
  • Lucy Kersey (wife)
  • Jordan Kersey (daughter)