Remakes have become a staple among Hollywood studios over the last decade. An optimist would say they allow filmmakers to try new and interesting things with beloved properties, while a cynic would likely tell you that they cheapen iconic pieces of cinema. Depending on one’s perspective, it makes each and every bit of information regarding Fox’s remake of John Carpenter’s classic Escape from New York that much more enticing.
The remake of the 1981 cult classic — centering on a lone soldier’s mission to rescue the President from The Big Apple — has remained in development hell for the better part of the last decade. However some new new developments have occurred behind the scenes that may instill some newfound confidence in the project’s creative team.
According to THR, Fox has signed Neil Cross to pen the script for the upcoming Escape from New York remake. Most fans will recognize Cross for his work on the BBC drama Luther, a broody police drama starring Idris Elba. A novelist and showrunner by trade, Escape from New York will represent one of Cross’ few endeavors into the world of film — others included Guillermo del Toro’s Mama, as well as Pacific Rim (for which he was an uncredited script doctor).
Similar to what they have done with their Planet of the Apes franchise, Fox seems intent on taking an iconic property and putting a gritty modern spin on it. Cross’ presence in the script could provide some insight as to how that intention will factor into the remake. With Luther, Cross firmly established his ability to write dark, morally ambiguous characters; it seems that Fox may seek to use this specific talent in order to add some new layers to the iconic anti-hero Snake Plissken.
Escape from New York — while a classic — created some of the action genre’s most iconic tropes. Cross’ knack for moral complexity could serve to take a character like Plissken and divorce him from many of the action cliches he — and actor Kurt Russell — pioneered.
It’s worth noting that Cross can only do so much for the film as its writer. At this early stage, neither a director nor a leading man have been definitively signed to the film, so there’s plenty of unknown left out there.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more news on Escape from New York.