Escape From New York remake still alive
The remake of Escape From New York seemed to be dead when it was last talked about back in July of 2008 when Gerard Butler had left the project and the idea was being left to pass everyone by.
However it doesn't look like it's dead, far from it, and the word is that New Line Cinema are pushing forward with the remake, and it's all down to the latest rewrite from Allan Loeb.
While the script for the remake of Escape From New York seemed to fail to escape from 20th Century Fox, New Line picked it up after Allan Loeb's script rewrite sparked interest. Loeb, you may know, wrote the recent Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, 21 and Things We Lost in the Fire.
According to New York Magazine through MTV, Loeb's version tackled two very important issues that were being missed in the original, Snake Plissken and the budget. Now Plissken is harder and has more of the trademark dark humour, without it being campy, and they found a way to reduce the budget dramatically.
The big change here is that rather than the whole of New York being a devastated, walled in city prison, they are now making it "geographically undesirable" but more or less intact.
This Manhattan was evacuated and turned into a privately run penal colony after the detonation of a crude radioactive dirty bomb on the outskirts of the city. "It is not a disaster movie," says a source close to the project. "It is an exposé of an ecosystem, if you put a huge wall around Manhattan and then dropped in the most fucked-up, dangerous criminals on Earth."
So the budget drops radically because they don't need to recreate New York and then destroy it, they just need to film in New York, empty streets and dirty it up a bit, a bit like I Am Legend (Filmstalker review) did - I just wrote that without looking at the article, and first time round I used the exact same words!
There are also some story details to go along with it, telling us that a private security company are in charge of the island, keeping an eye over everything from the Statue of Liberty, and the prisoners are processed through Ellis Island.
John Carpenter has been very clever when he signed these deals with New Line, ensuring that the character of Snake Plissken is written hard in stone - contractually the character has to be a certain way, and that's down to Carpenter.
"must be called Snake"; "must wear an eye patch"; "always be a bad-ass."
Well done him. That's great news for the franchise, well so far. Remember we're only at the script stage, we need a director and a star yet.