Breck Eisner has become the latest director attached to the long-planned – yet long-panned – remake of John Carpenter’s futuristic cult classic, Escape from New York.
EW reports that, fresh from helming a mildly successful 2010 adaptation of the George A. Romero horror The Crazies, Eisner is in negotiations with New Line Cinema to breathe new life into legendary tough guy, Snake Plissken.
Eisner, who was also responsible for the big screen version of the Clive Cussler novel Sahara starring Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn and Penelope Cruz, follows Len Wiseman, Brett Ratner and Jonathan Mostow as the men most likely to direct the Escape from New York remake.
Wiseman (Underworld, Live Free or Die Hard) was expected to take the reins back in early 2007, when Gerard Butler was in line to fill the massive shoes of Kurt Russell by starring as Plissken.
However, before you could say ‘I thought you were dead’, Wiseman was replaced by Ratner (Rush Hour, X-Men: The Last Stand), who was then replaced by Mostow (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines), who would also re-write Ken Nolan’s script. Somewhere in there, Butler presumably saw the writing on the wall and jumped ship.
Two and half years on, it’s full steam ahead again, with Allan Loeb (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps) penning the latest screenplay – a script New Line is said to be pleased with - and now Eisner possibly on board, at least for the moment.
Producers now have the toughest task of all: finding someone able play one of cinema’s great anti-heroes, Plissken, the war hero turned criminal sent in to save the U.S. President from the maximum security prison that is Manhattan Island.
Russell, for one, made it clear in 2007 that he wasn’t impressed with Butler taking over the role, telling EW:
“I will say that when I was told who was going to play Snake Plissken, my initial reaction was ‘Oh, man!’. I do think that character was quintessentially one thing. And that is, American.”
In fact, Russell wouldn’t be happy with any new Snake Plissken, going on to say during that 2007 interview:
“I am Snake Plissken! It’s like Sean Connery always watching someone else do their version of Bond.”
And who can blame him? The entire concept of an Escape from New York remake seems unnecessary, but Hollywood certainly is insistent on slowly but surely rehashing the Carpenter classics, whether we like it or not. Think The Fog, Halloween, and the upcoming The Thing prequel. Don’t expect a Ghost of Mars remake any time soon, but what next? They Live is said to be on the way too…
And if the Escape from New York remake does finally see the light of day, the eye-patch must return, but what about Plissken’s surf board from the 1996 sequel, Escape from LA?