Studios figured out long ago that remaking John Carpenter‘s filmography is a lot easier than coming up with original ideas. Take David Gordon Green‘s latest take on the “Halloween” franchise, for example. Or the sub-par versions of “The Thing” (a prequel leading up to the events of the 1982 film) and “The Fog” from 2011 and 2005, respectively. But one film Carpenter fans have had mixed feelings about getting a remake is 1981’s “Escape From New York.” Now it appears 20th Century Studios may finally have their new incarnation of the film moving forward, something that’s been in the works since 2007 going back to when the rights were at New Line Cinema.
Both Bloody Disgusting and Deadline report that 20th Century Studios has new directors attached to the long-gestating “New York” remake. So, who’s next up to take on the goal of a successful John Carpenter remake? It’s the Radio Silence guys, the directing team of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, and Chad Villella. The trio is currently in production on their slasher follow-up to this year’s “Scream 5” for Spyglass Media, due in theaters next year. Their previous work together includes 2019’s “Ready Or Not.”
But is the Radio Silence team the right one to helm an “Escape From New York” remake? Previous directors attached to the project include Robert Rodriguez and Leigh Whannell, both of whom eventually stepped aside. And that’s because this very well may be a doomed project; after all, it’s been in development for 15 years at this point. Having Radio Silence on board now provides some cautious optimism, but until this new take on Carpenter’s film enters pre-production, don’t get hopes up that it’ll actually hit theaters.
For those unfamiliar with “Escape From New York,” Kurt Russell stars as Snake Plissken, an American war hero turned legendary criminal sent to a city-wide penitentiary on Manhattan Island in an alternate fascist state version of 1997. But before Plissken enters, terrorists hijack Air Force One, crashing the plane with the President on board, into the prison island. Prison personnel enlists Plissken on a last-ditch mission to save the President’s life: if he doesn’t find him in 24 hours, Plissken dies from an explosive device in his neck. Will the anti-hero find the President in the sprawling prison and its myriad gangs, including one led by the dominant Duke?
Critics and audiences love Carpenter’s film, and it’s a true cult classic. However, its 1997 sequel “Escape From L.A.” didn’t fare as well with everyone, which killed plans to make a third film that would have taken place in outer space. That project eventually became Carpenter’s disastrously messy “Ghost Of Mars” with Ice Cube and Natasha Henstridge, which fans of the director consider the beginning of his downfall. The film’s premise may be ridiculous, but it’s also ridiculously awesome, too, and in the right hands could be quite magical. Maybe the Radio Silence guys are the right men for the job, that’s if they aren’t just warm bodies to help the studio hold onto the rights.