Robert Rodriguez will direct Escape From New York remake

Ben Bussey
UK Movies Writer
Kurt Russell in 1981’s ‘Escape From New York’ (credit: Studiocanal)

Robert Rodriguez looks set to become the Duke of New York, A-number one.

The revered cult filmmaker has entered into talks to call the shots on the long in-development remake of 1981 sci-fi action thriller ‘Escape From New York,’ according to The Hollywood Reporter.

UPDATE: it has now been confirmed that Rodriguez is taking on the job, by no less an authority than John Carpenter, director of the original and executive producer on the remake:

This would indicate that Rodriguez has become something of a hot property with studio 20th Century Fox, for whom he is currently working on the James Cameron-produced Manga adaptation ‘Alita: Battle Angel.’ Quite the career upturn for the 48-year old Texan director, famed for his hands-on DIY approach, who has mostly worked independently (on the likes of ‘Planet Terror’ and the ‘Machete’ movies) since quitting the Director’s Guild of America during production of 2004’s ‘Sin City.’

Director Robert Rodriguez (credit: Shawn Thew/Epa/REX/Shutterstock)

Fox have had an ‘Escape From New York’ remake on the cards for around a decade, and are said to have designs on relaunching it as a franchise in the vein of their recent ‘Planet of the Apes’ revival. Directors Len Wiseman, Brett Ratner and Breck Eisner have previously been linked to the project, whilst actors Gerard Butler and Jeremy Renner have reportedly been considered for the central role of anti-hero Snake Plissken, played by Kurt Russell in the 1981 original and its 1996 sequel ‘Escape From LA.’

The original, directed and co-written by legendary genre filmmaker John Carpenter, took place in a dystopian future in which New York City has been re-purposed as a maximum security prison. When Air Force One crash-lands in the city and the President (Donald Pleasance) is taken hostage, Plissken begrudgingly agrees to go in on a rescue mission.

However, it has been reported that this new take, written by ‘Luther’ creator Neil Cross, will do something rather different with the concept, allegedly with a new corporate villain and a New York City which isn’t even a prison. (Read further details here – but keep in mind none of this has been confirmed.)

Still, lest we fear the film will deviate too far from the spirit of original, fans may be encouraged to learn that John Carpenter is involved in the film as an executive producer. ‘Escape From New York’ is but one of a number of Carpenter films set to be remade in the near future, with David Gordon Green attached to direct another reboot of ‘Halloween’ (again with Carpenter attached as executive producer), whilst Dwayne Johnson is working on a remake of ‘Big Trouble in Little China.’

No release dates for ‘Escape From New York’ have been announced yet, but Robert Rodriguez’s next film ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ is due in cinemas July 2018.

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