A remake of Escape from New York has been in the planning stages for ages. Now, the long gestating redo is finally moving forward, as it was announced yesterday that action maestro Robert Rodriguez is stepping in to take the helm on this sci-fi thriller that will resurrect Snake Plissken for the big screen. How does original director John Carpenter feel about this choice? Well, he actually loves it quite a bit. Sharing his thoughts on Twitter, he says this.
"Robert Rodriguez is going to direct ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. I'm excited about this. Robert is great! I am thrilled. He is a great director."
John Carpenter is not a man to mince words. And he's never offered praise where it's not deserved. The man behind such classics as the original Halloween, The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, The Fog and Assault on Precinct 13 is no stranger to remakes, as all of those mentioned titles have gotten a redo, reboot or are in the process of being resurrected for the big screen as we speak. And we definitely know when he doesn't like something.
Breck Eisner was once attached to direct the Escape from New York remake, with Gerard Butler and Jeremy Renner both previously eyed to star. Now, with maverick filmmaker Robert Rodriguez set to direct this highly-anticipated franchise reboot, no production schedule has yet to be announced. Luther creator Neil Cross has been working on the script since October 2015.
Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman will produce the remake through their production banner The Picture Company. 20th Century Fox won the rights to this iconic franchise back in January 2015 in a bidding war, with original Escape From New York director John Carpenter coming aboard as an executive producer. And judging from his remarks, he played a hand in who would direct the movie.
No details have been revealed about the rebuffed story, or how different it will be from the original movie, but it is believed that the studio wants to turn this into a franchise like its Planet of the Apes series. There was a recent report that claimed this project will be much different than originally imagined.
Back in December, a report surfaced claiming this is actually an Escape From New York prequel, charting the origins of the iconic Snake Plissken. That report explained that whoever plays Snake Plissken will not wear the iconic eyepatch, and it is believed that this story will tell how he came to wear it in the first place. That report also said this prequel will be the first installment of a new trilogy, which will lead up to the events of the original movie.
In the original Escape From New York, Kurt Russell starred as eyepatch-wearing career criminal Snake Plissken, who is tasked with rescuing the president of the United States from within a quarantined section of New York City on the eve of WWIII. Plissken, a former special forces operative convicted of trying to rob the Federal Reserve, has 22 hours to find the President and bring him back from within this walled-off state that has become a maximum security prison. The president, on the other hand, is carrying a tape that holds the key to peace. If Snake fails, he is wired to explode. Back in 2014, when Joel Silver was still attached to produce, the producer was trying to push forward a new trilogy that he claimed would be inspired by the Batman Arkham Asylum video game series.
The original Escape from New York also spawned the 1997 follow-up Escape from L.A., which featured Kurt Russell returning as Snake Plissken, which ironically grossed almost the exact same amount as its predecessor. Escape From New York earned just $25.2 million back in 1981, but its 1997 follow-up only earned $25.4 million. The original is still considered to be a cult classic to this day, with a rabid fan base still intact. Robert Rodriguez hasn't directed a feature since 2014's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, but he has been keeping busy by forming his own TV network, El Rey, where he has directed episodes of the network's original shows such as From Dusk till Dawn: The Series, Matador and The Director's Chair. He is also attached to direct Alita: Battle Angel for 20th Century Fox, but it remains unclear which project will move forward first. Take a look at John Carpenter's tweets.