While it can sometimes seem like every big hit from the 1980s has been remade, there are still a good handful of cult classics that have yet to receive the redo treatment. One of those is John Carpenter's 1981 dystopian action flick Escape From New York, which starred Kurt Russell as former soldier turned ex-con Snake Plissken. When the U.S. president is kidnapped, Snake is conscripted into service by the government, and given the mission of infiltrating New York City -- now a maximum security prison -- and rescuing the commander-in-chief.
Rumors and reports of an Escape From New York remake have abounded for about a decade now, with various directors and stars having been attached to some degree at various points. Unfortunately -- or fortunately, depending on one's point of view -- the project has never managed to get off the ground, with something always falling through. Things finally started to take shape in 2015, when Luther creator Neil Cross was hired to pen the script for the remake, although updates have been mostly nonexistent since.
Now, The Tracking Board reports that 20th Century Fox has found its favored choice to direct its new Escape From New York, and that man is none other than Robert Rodriguez. While a formal deal is not yet in place, Rodriguez is reportedly eager to continue working with Fox, for which he recently helmed the upcoming Alita: Battle Angel, and produced the 2010 sequel Predators. Carpenter remains on-board as an executive producer, but one assumes his actual involvement will be minimal.
On the surface, Rodriguez seems like a natural pick for the job of bringing Escape From New York into a new century, as his resume is chock full of gritty, old-school genre romps like Grindhouse, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Machete. Rodriguez loves both watching and making the type of films that Carpenter excelled at with 80s classics like EFNY, and one presumes is likely a fan of the original.
Potential fandom aside though, Rodriguez is also a very stylistic filmmaker who usually insists on making the films he wants to make, the way he wants to make them. This is probably a blessing when remaking such a beloved movie though, as Rodriguez's unique style would help set this new take on Snake Plissken apart from the Carpenter and Russell-shaped shadow that will no doubt loom large over the production.
Source: The Tracking Board