Escape from New York remake details and Snake's real name revealed

John Carpenter Escape from New York Kurt Russell

A remake of John Carpenter's sci-fi action classic ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK has been in the works for a long time, bouncing around from studio to studio for the last decade. Scripts have been written, directors have been attached or close to signing on - directors like Len Wiseman, Brett Ratner, Jonathan Mostow, and Breck Eisner - and at one point Gerard Butler was even set to play Snake Plissken, the iconic anti-hero who was brought to life by Kurt Russell in the original film. After Butler departed the project, Jeremy Renner was in the running to play the new Snake.

There are no actors or directors currently attached to the new version of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, which is now set up at 20th Century Fox. However, there is a fresh draft of the screenplay, which has been written by Luther creator Neal Cross, and details on what Cross has done with Carpenter's concept have now been revealed.

I don't think anyone would have expected an ESCAPE remake like the one Cross has envisioned. In case you need a refresher, the synopsis for Carpenter's film went like this: 

The year is 1997. New York is a maximum security prison operated by the newly formed United States Police Force. Completely walled in and virtually escape proof, the city is a corrupt and devastated wasteland inhabited by three million criminals.

When the President's plane crash lands there, he is taken prisoner by a gang of marauding criminals... and there is only one man who can get him out alive!

According to TheWrap, Cross has set his ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK apart from the original in a major way by jettisoning the idea of New York being a walled-in prison. While the future as a whole isn't bright in his script, his Manhattan is a breathtaking utopia with a sky full of drones that are controlled by an artificial intelligence called April. When Superstorm Ellery blows in to the island, the flaws in April's system show through, making the city vulnerable.

Agrochemical and biotech heir Thomas Newton is trapped on the island and needs rescued, so CIA Deputy Executive Director Roberta Hauk (a female version of the role originally played by Lee Van Cleef) recruits military Colonel turned criminal Robert "Snake" Plissken - this Snake has a first name! - to pull off the mission. And he's only given 11 hours to do so.

Unfortunately, Newton is actually the film's villain, and he's in possession of " an ominous, dull metal sphere about the size of a car, in a nest of conduits and cabling", a device he calls Fat Boy.

The opening scene showing Snake's arrest was deleted from the original film, but Cross's script does include a scene where Snake is arrested.

If this Cross-scripted version of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK goes ahead at Fox, it sounds like we're going to be getting a film that is very different from the source material. Switching things up for a remake can be a good thing to do, but honestly... an ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK set in a pristine Manhattan run by an artificial intelligence and drones isn't an ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK I'm enthusiastic about seeing, and not even one that I'm particularly interested in.

We'll keep you updated as the ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK remake continues to make its way out of development hell.

John Carpenter Escape from New York Adrienne Barbeau

Adrienne Barbeau in the original film

Extra Tidbit: How does the remake sound to you?
Source: TheWrap



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