A remake of Escape From New York has been on the table for a while, with a few different writers and directors attached to the project. So far, none of them have been able to see it to the finish line. But now the remake has got some new creative talent attached. Leigh Whannell, the writer and director of Upgrade, has signed on to direct the new Escape From New York.
Escape From New York is a 1981 action movie starring Kurt Russell and directed by the legendary John Carpenter. Set in the far off future of 1997, Manhattan has been transformed into a maximum security prison for the worst of the worst criminals. When the President of the United States crash lands in the middle of the dystopian city, an outlaw (Russell) is convinced to infiltrate the city and rescue the president.
The movie was followed by a sequel, Escape From L.A., in 1996, with John Carpenter and Kurt Russell returning. It wasn't received as well as the first movie and was a box office bomb, but Escape From New York is considered a classic.
Previously, Neil Cross, the creator of the BBC series Luther starring Idris Elba, wrote a draft of the script and Robert Rodriguez was attached to direct. However, Leigh Wannell will be starting from scratch with a script that will retain elements of the original but incorporate new ideas. Sources close to the project say that Whannell is looking to avoid the pitfalls of other remakes of '80s movies such as Total Recall and Robocop.
Leigh Whannell's name might be familiar to horror fans. The filmmaker got his start writing and co-creating the Saw franchise with James Wan, the extremely successful director of Aquaman. The would also collaborate on another hit franchise, Insidious, and Whannell made his directorial debut with Insidious: Chapter 3.
Leigh Whannell's latest feature was Upgrade, a sci-fi action film that he wrote and directed. While not a smash hit, the film has a strong following and earned positive reviews. It was enough to convince studio heads that Whannell was a man to be in business with. News recently broke that Whannell will write and direct a revamped The Invisible Man for Universal as it adjusts its strategy for Dark Universe.
While I don't know if we need another Escape From New York, Whannell seems like the guy to bring it to fruition. There's no release date for the remake yet, but stay tuned for more update with CinemaBlend.