Escape from New York is another genre classic from John Carpenter. It features a classic anti-hero in the shape of Kurt Russell’s scowling Snake Plissken who is one of the great movie characters of all time.
Add to that the nihilistic view of the future where New York City is a huge prison surrounded by a wall explains why it is on many people’s favourite film lists.
Like many of Carpenter’s other films, Escape From New York was heading for a remake. We first reported on this back in 2010 when a script was written. Len Wiseman was set to direct it and Gerard Butler was going to be Snake with the following setting…
This Manhattan was evacuated and turned into a privately run penal colony after the detonation of a crude radioactive dirty bomb on the outskirts of the city. “It is not a disaster movie,” says a source close to the project. “It is an exposé of an ecosystem, if you put a huge wall around Manhattan and then dropped in the most fucked-up, dangerous criminals on Earth.” This means New York will still be recognizable to audiences, à la I Am Legend, rather than an entirely new Armageddon Island.
Then it all fell apart and New Line lost the option.
That brings us to the present day when it now appears that Joel Silver and Studio Canal are joining forces to bring Snake Plissken back to New York.
According to Deadline, Silver is planning an entirely new take on the material. The goal is to turn it into a trilogy, starting with an origin story in a fashion similar to the way Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes restarted that franchise. Studio Canal will finance development of the project before placing it with a studio. A writer search is underway.
The basic idea of a convict going in to save a President or another VIP is a good basis for a movie, but should they remake Escape From New York. An origin story showing more of Plissken’s back story could be good, but good so easily go wrong.
There is no word on who will be playing Snake in the reboot or even if there will be a Snake. Out of Butler, Renner and Olyphant I would have to pick the latter. However, Guy Pearce was basically a Snake clone in the recent sci-fi movie Lockout.
Can Snake be recast or is he too tied up with Kurt Russell? Would it be like recasting Han Solo, Indiana Jones, Ash or Ripley?