After years of delays, with Breck Eisner once attached to direct and Gerard Butler and Jeremy Renner previously eyed to star, 20th Century Fox's Escape From New York remake is finally moving forward. The studio has brought on filmmaker Robert Rodriguez to direct this highly-anticipated remake, although no production schedule has been given. Luther creator Neil Cross came aboard to write the script back in October 2015.
Deadline reports that Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman are set to produce the remake through their production company known as 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. No details have been given regarding the new script by Neil Cross, 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 of films. There was also a recent report that claimed this project will be much different than originally imagined.
The last we heard on this Escape From New York project was in December, when a report surfaced that claimed this is actually an Escape From New York prequel, charting the origins of the iconic Snake Plissken. That report claimed 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 the eyepatch in the first place. That report also claimed that this Escape From New York 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.