While snow turns New York City into an icy wasteland today, news has emerged that plans are afoot in Hollywood to unleash an entirely different kind of mess on the Big Apple. New Line is pulling together a remake of "Escape from New York," the 1981 action flick starring an eyepatch-wearing Kurt Russell as badass hero Snake Plissken. New York Magazine's Vulture blog exclusively reports that plans are moving quickly for the studio, thanks in part to a script from "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" writer Allan Loeb.
The Plissken role made famous by Russell will be re-cast with a yet-to-be named actor. Series creator John Carpenter has a deal with New Line which stipulates that the character "must be called 'Snake'"; "must wear an eye patch"; and "always be a 'bad-ass.'" Which should make perfect sense to anyone who's seen either the original or its Los Angeles-based sequel. Of course, this being a remake, not everything will be the same.
In an idea originating with previous writer David Kajganich, New York City will be transformed from the post-apocalyptic quarantined danger zone that it was in the original to a walled-in penal colony. Like the Ray Liotta-starring "No Escape," only the island is a concrete jungle instead of an authentic one. Also, Snake will now be tasked with rescuing a female Senator instead of the U.S. President.
The article also reveals that the prison's offices will be situated on Liberty Island -- a nod to the famous image of the Statue of Liberty's head on the streets of Manhattan -- and that prisoners will be processed on Ellis Island. Vulture refers to the remake as "Escape 2.0," though whether that's an official title or just some clever wordplay is unclear.
I can't help but be excited about this remake. Forget any concerns you have over messing with history. The campy spirit in which the original was made is absolutely served by a clever remake. While Vulture says that Loeb's script was embraced quickly because it captured Snake's humor while minimizing the camp, I'm still okay with with it. Even if there's an oh-so-popular "gritty edge" applied to the story, the real work will still fall to whomever is cast as Snake. Someone who can maintain a menacing aura while deadpanning "CSI: Miami"-grade one-liners.
Are you a fan of the original "Escape"? Are you on board with the idea of a remake?