Put this on the list of movies that don’t need to be remade, revisited, re-imagined or whatever the latest politically correct term is for a non-original movie production: John Carpenter’s Escape From New York.
Beyond the fact that I don’t think this movie needs to be remade we have this: First came the news a couple of days ago that Len Wiseman (Underworld, Live Free or Die Hard) who this past August was confirmed as the director for the film was now off the project. His supposed replacement? Brett Ratner.
Ratner is most well known for his Rush Hour movies, which according to Rotten Tomatoes started out not so great with each subsequent one getting worse. He’s also the guy who stepped in at the eleventh hour to direct X-Men 3, the weakest film in the trilogy.
Then came word that oops, no, Ratner is not directing Escape From New York.
Now comes word that Gerard Butler (King Leonidas in 300), who was tapped to take on Kurt Russell’s iconic Snake Plissken character has bowed out of the movie. He is citing “creative differences.” My question is, if there is currently no director attached to the movie, with whom does he have “differences?” I suppose it must be an issue with the screenplay, written by Ken Nolan (who was the writer of Black Hawk Down).
So now they’re bringing in Jonathan Mostow (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) to write and possibly direct, however this begs the question: Did Butler leave because he didn’t like the original screenplay or the concept pitched for the re-write? The timeline here is confusing… if he didn’t like the original but New Line wanted him in it, you’d think they’d say “Hang on a second, we’re bringing in a new writer.” Or was Butler OK with the first script and it was the re-write that he didn’t like?
Either way, I’d say this isn’t looking good right now.
Sources: FirstShowing.net & Variety