Hollywood is very remake happy at the moment and the results in recent years have been a mixed bag of triumphs and failures. One of the more seemingly risky remakes currently in development is the John Carpenter classic Escape From New York, which originally starred Kurt Russell as the hero, Snake Plissken. 20th Century Fox won the rights to remake the movie a while back, and we have just learned a ton of details about this new version of Escape from New York. It will be quite a bit different from the original. There are potential spoilers ahead for the movie, so if you don't want to know anything about it, turn away now.
The Wrap is reporting several major details about the movie. Fox reportedly wants to go "Planet of the Apes" style with it. That would make sense, given that Fox's current Apes franchise has been crushing it at the box office and has also been very well-liked by fans and critics alike. They also aren't direct remakes of the original movies, but use the general premise to tell a story in that world. That sounds a lot like what will happen with Escape From New York when these new details are taken into account. Perhaps the biggest detail is that the city of New York won't be a prison in this version, which was very central to the plot of the original. Here is how The Wrap tells it.
"New York City isn't a maximum security prison. Weird, right? Because New York being a prison was kind of crucial to the whole "escape from New York" concept. In the reboot, New York is breathtakingly lovely. Manhattan is the island we know, but with more towering glass structures and a high, undulating glass wall. The sky is alive with drones as serene as bees, and artificial intelligence controls all in the form of an ethnically ambiguous, cheery young woman called April. A small staff of technicians and researchers known as "Seers" monitor all."
The revelation that New York won't be a prison is pretty big, but this new report had a lot of other details about the movie. For one, we will find out Snake Plissken's real name in the movie, which is a big deal and there will be a new bad guy. Originally, the villain was the Duke of New York, played by Isaac Hayes. This time around, it will be a character named Thomas Newton, who is described as "playboy heir to an agrochemical and biotech corporation" who donated his entire fortune a handful of years ago. The Escape From New York remake will also be gender-swapping the role of Hauk, originally played by Lee Van Cleef. The character will instead become CIA Deputy Executive Director Roberta Hauk, who will be played by an as-of-yet undetermined actress.
Additionally, this new movie won't start out in New York and will start out in another major city somewhere outside of the U.S. It sounds like one of the major looming issues in the movie will be a massive hurricane named "Superstorm Ellery." The other point of conflict will come when the security system that monitors the city will have some vulnerabilities and will put the whole city at risk. Snake will also have less time to complete his mission. In the original, he had 22 hours and in the new Escape From New York, he will only have 11. Also, there will be some kind of failsafe in place in the city called Fat Boy, which is described as "an ominous, dull metal sphere about the size of a car, in a nest of conduits and cabling." Lastly, the world as a whole will be in chaos. Here is how The Wrap explains it.
"Globally, one in every seventy five human beings is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum."
The original Escape From New York follows Kurt Russell's iconic character Snake Plissken. It is set in an apocalyptic future where Manhattan has been turned into an island-sized maximum security prison. Snake is sent in to rescue the President of the United States, who has crashed into this ruined and chaotic city. The original movie was set in 1997 and since it came out in 1981, 1997 seemed like a pretty distant future. No word on when this new movie will take place or more importantly, who will replace Kurt Russell as Plissken. Fox hired Luthor writer Neil Cross to pen the screenplay for the Escape From New York remake and he recently turned in a draft. Fox has not set a release date for the movie yet, but we do know that John Carpenter will serve as an Executive Producer, with Andrew Rona and The Picture Company, also producing.