To either the delight or pure horror of fans, it seems that Escape from New York, the 1981 John Carpenter-directed dystopian crowd-pleaser will be the next classic franchise to get the remake treatment.
According to Deadline, legendary producer, Joel Silver, who's had a hand in some of the most iconic action films of the last 30 years, has hopped on board the long-planned project with Studio Canal for a reinvention of the film in which Kurt Russell played Snake Plissken, the eye-patch-sporting skull-cracking soldier of fortune. Snake is tasked with rescuing the U.S. President after his plane crashes into the boundaries of a future version of New York City that has been converted into a giant prison and ruled by a sinister Duke who's "a-number one." The incarcerated Snake is subsequently offered a full pardon if he can successfully infiltrate the locked-down metropolis and utilize his skills to get the job done. The film would be followed 15 years later in 1996 with the less-lauded Escape from L.A.
Things seemed to be moving for this remake project a few years back over at New Line with a script lined up and a vision for a more budget-friendly post-apocalyptic New York. That deal would expire and now that the rights to the project are in the hands of Studio Canal, Joel Silver has been given free reign to shape it to his will.
According to the report, Silver plans to provide an entirely new take on the story and even has ambitions of turning it into a proper trilogy. The formula of recent reboot success story, Rise of the Planet of the Apes seems to be the inspiration for this revival as it currently searches out a new screenwriter.
Obviously, a great deal about what was predicted in the 1981 film about "the future" of 1997, like a Third World War, the continued use of "secret cassette tapes," and prison cities never quite took place. Yet, all of those easily-fixable things are trivial compared to the most important task the creative minds of this film will undertake: Finding someone badass enough to fill Kurt Russell's shoes as Snake Plissken. That will be a task that's far easier said than done.