Beloved 1980s cult classics are continuing to reappear in the 21st century landscape. Some of these recent reboots turn out to be long-unexpected sequels or spinoffs. These are your Terminator: Genisyses, your Predators, and your Alien and Thing prequels. But it appears that another John Carpenter classic, Escape from New York, is getting the full-on remake treatment since Robert Rodriguez has been tapped to direct the picture.
Deadline broke the news late Friday evening that Escape from New York is moving ahead at 20th Century Fox, which after a long-bidding war for the property is now set to produce it. This also is tellingly a vote of confidence in Rodriguez at the studio since he is currently editing an upcoming tentpole for the studio, the James Cameron-scripted Alita: Battle Angel, which is based on Yukito Kishiro’s graphic novel of the same name and stars Rosa Salazar, Mahershala Ali, Michelle Rodriguez, Eiza González, Jennifer Connelly, Christoph Waltz, Ed Skrein, and Jackie Earle Haley.
Obviously, there are no details yet on what an Escape remake would look like, but the John Carpenter original is an influential cult classic that starred Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken. In that 1981 film, the story picks up in the dystopian future (of 1997!) where the current U.S. president’s Air Force One crashes onto Manhattan Island—now a forgotten and decayed urban sprawl that is reserved for only the most undesirable of convicts. A maximum security wasteland. Snake, a convict who has escaped it before, is sent back into hell to rescue the president.
The only question is this: Do they think they can even dare make this without a Russell cameo? He certainly appears more presidential than some these days.