Here’s one of those remake projects like The Crow that has been on the books for some time, suffering the departure of one creator after the other as studio heads hope that name recognition of an established I.P. means beaucoup bucks at the box office. So here we go again with Escape from New York, pretty much the biggest title from John Carpenter‘s catalogue that has still yet to become a remade. Well don’t worry, somebody’s getting around to it, but you might not like what they’re planning. If you’re thinking that Hollywood can still screw up a sure thing, in the case of Escape from New York, you might be right. Spoilers ahead (possibly).
So let’s recall that the 1981 Carpenter movie is the tale of Snake Plissken (played by Kurt Russell), a former special forces soldier turned criminal who’s recruited to save the President of the United States from New York City, which has since become a massive prison colony. According to The Wrap, the prison that is New York in the pending remake is going to be more a metaphorical type of prison as opposed to a literal one. Quite the opposite of a prison actually. New York in this Escape is going to be a paradise, a refuge from a world gone mad where “one in every 75 human begins is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum.”
So how is future New York a prison? It’s pristine nature is protected a large glass wall, and aerial drones that patrol the skies that are all controlled by an artificial intelligence named April. With intrusive surveillance and a deadly hurricane bearing down on Manhattan, Colonel Robert “Snake” Plissken has 11 hours to achieve his objective, whatever that is. Also, standing in his way will be a former playboy and heir to an agrochemical and biotech corporation named Thomas Newton, who threatens the safety of the city with a MacGuffin called “Fat Boy.” Intrigued yet? There will also be a new character called CIA Deputy Executive Director Roberta Hauk.
One can’t help but get a whiff of what was done with the Total Recall and RoboCop remakes, not to mention what was done with the remake of Carpenter’s own Halloween, where changes were made to the source material for the sake of doing something different in order to justify the creation of the remakes. It’s been said that it’s hard to argue with perfection, and sometimes that’s the case with these movies. To many fans, they’re pretty close to perfect, and unless there’s a really good idea or intention in creating something different, it seems like all the filmmakers are doing is cramming something terrible into the casing of something great. We’ll have to wait and see what direction this ends up going in, if it ends up going in any direction at all…