The long-gestating Escape From New York remake has new life. Leigh Whannell, director of last year's Upgrade and co-creator of the Saw franchise has been tapped to write a new screenplay for the project, which is currently in the works at Fox. This new take on the John Carpenter classic has been on the table for years and, for a bit, seemed like it had possibly been scrapped. But now Whannell is going to do his best to breath new life into it.
According to a new report, Leigh Whannell is officially on board to write a new screenplay for the movie. At the present time, there is no deal for him to direct. However, that possibility is on the table, but that would be revisited at a later date. The most recent draft of the script was written by Neil Cross (Luther). Whannell will reportedly keep elements of the original in place, but he will be bringing something new to the table. Whannell took to Twitter to confirm the news. Here's what he had to say.
"Um, so this happened."
This is the second big studio gig that Leigh Whannell has locked down this week. The filmmaker was also recently tapped to helm the remake of The Invisible Man for Blumhouse and Universal, which will hit the reset button on the Universal monsters franchise after the failed Dark Universe, which crashed and burned with The Mummy. Whannell has mostly worked as a screenwriter, having co-created both the Saw and Insidious franchises alongside James Wan. Whannell's most recent directorial effort Upgrade was met with critical praise, even though it was a hit, financially speaking. But it did display a great deal of imagination and clearly put him on the map for some high-profile jobs.
Escape From New York, directed by John Carpenter and starring Kurt Russell, was originally released in 1981 and takes place in the future which, at that time, was depicted as 1997. The movie sees New York City transformed into a gigantic prison and, when the president winds up trapped there, it's up to Snake Plissken (Russell) to save the day. A sequel, Escape From L.A., was released in 1996, but wasn't received terribly well, nor did it do much in the way of business at the box office.
Robert Rodriguez was most recently attached to direct the remake, but he's since moved on. Worth noting; the Disney merger with Fox is set to close within the next few months. At that point in time, any projects in development at Fox not already in production will be proceeded with on a case-by-case basis by Disney. How that ultimately affects Escape From New York remains to be seen but, for now at least, the project has new life. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. This news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.