We've been following the reboot of Escape From New York for some time and the details have shifted and changed through the years.
The initial word was that it would be a threequel, with Kurt Russell reprising his role as Plissken. Another was that Gerard Butler would be playing the role of Plissken, with a view to it being a prequel instead of a threequel. Now, however, the latest rumours floating around are completely different to what we've heard before.
According to a report by The Wrap, there's at least ten different deviations from the original that Luther creator Neil Cross has developed. We spoke to John Carpenter about the reboot some time ago and while he didn't give us specific details on the subject, he simply said that he "didn't know" if he liked it, but that he was happy to be told about it nonetheless.
So, on to reboot. Per The Wrap, the biggest difference we've spotted is that New York isn't a prison as such, but is filled with "towering glass structures and a high, undulating glass wall. The sky is alive with drones as serene as bees, and artificial intelligence controls all in the form of an ethnically ambiguous, cheery young woman called April. A small staff of technicians and researchers known as Seers monitor all."
Another aspect that brings the reboot more in line with today's world is the global setting. In the reboot, one in seventy-five people in the world are either refugees, internally displaced or seeking asylum. The bad guy won't be the so-called Duke Of New York played by Isaac Hayes in the original, but will instead be "the lean, intensely charismatic Thomas Newton, the playboy heir to an agrochemical and biotech corporation," who donated his entire fortune five years before the film's story begins.
Thomas Newton was the name of David Bowie's character from The Man Who Fell To Earth, so is this a reference? Who knows. The film apparently revolves around getting into New York and getting Newton out within eleven hours. Another aspect that'll be different from the original is gender-swapping Lee Van Cleef's character, Police Commissioner Bob Hauk, to Deputy Executive Director of the CIA Roberta Hauk.
There's a few other details - Plissken's real name is revealed as Col. Robert 'Snake' Plissken, there's a superstorm on the way, the film opens in a different city - but the points above are the central points of deviation.
So, thoughts? It definitely is different enough from the original and swapping Bob Hauk for a woman is a fun little twist. Changing New York from a run-down, deserted wasteland to a gleaming metropolis is going to take a bit of explaining as that one was one of the central themes of the film. New York, formerly the greatest city in the world, now reduced to a prison and here it sounds like a shopping centre? Who knows.
The key to all of this is, of course, who's sitting in the director's chair. Previous Carpenter remakes, like Assault On Precinct 13 or The Thing, were always let down by sub-standard directors. It's hard to know who'd be up to the task of taking this on, but it needs someone with a real vision and a real understanding of the material.
Let us know what you make of the changes in the comments below!
Via The Wrap