February 11 2010

Escape From New York Remake Looks Set To Go

In another entry from the files of “Movie Remakes That Don’t Need To Happen”, it looks like Escape From New York is the next film to get the treatment.

New Line Cinema is moving ahead with its remake of the 1981 cult classic Escape From New York according to New York Magazine.  The original John Carpenter film starred Kurt Russell as a former soldier-turned-criminal named Snake Plissken that has been sentenced to life imprisonment in New York City.  The island of Manhattan had been walled off after the crime rate had jumped 400 percent, the bridges mined and there was one simple rule: once you go in, you never come out.

As luck would have it, just as Snake was to go in, Air Force One was brought down by terrorists, and the President was trapped inside the city when his escape pod landed there.  Snake is given 24 hours to get him out, and if he succeeds he would receive a pardon.  To keep him in line, microscopic bombs are placed in his neck that will detonate if he doesn’t make it back in time.

In short, it was a kick-ass action film.  And fans just try to forget the sequel, Escape From L.A. ever happened.

New Line Cinema has been trying to get a remake  off the ground for some time now, but the script never worked.  Now they have brought in Allan Loeb (21, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps) to rework it, and according to the original report’s sources, “Loeb nailed the humor in Plissken without slipping into camp, and he changed Snake’s rescue-mission target from a president to a female senator, thereby upping the banter quotient.”

The other issue was the economic question of making New York City look rundown.  The company has decided to go with a similar look to what was seen in I Am Legend which means a lot less set dressing than was seen in the original.  (Fun Fact: A lot of post-war New York from the original was shot in downtown St. Louis … says a lot for that city)

Apparently before John Carpenter would sign over the rights, he had a couple of stipulations: that Plissken “must be called ‘Snake'”; “must wear an eye patch”; and that he would — and we’re not making this up — “always be a ‘bad-ass.'”

No word yet on who will be playing Snake, nor who will direct it.  Whomever ends up in the title role has some mighty large boots to fill to come close to the coolness factor of Russell in the original.

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