‘Escape From New York’ Reboot No Longer A Reboot

By December 2, 2016
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The era of the reboots seems to now be making way for a new trend: The era of prequels.

With the Fantastic Beasts and Planet of the Apes movies doing quite well at the box office, Twentieth Century Fox apparently has rethought how it wants to approach its attempts to bring a modernized version of John Carpenter’s Escape from New York to the screen.

Forget the reboot, it’s now a prequel.

The news was shared by Bloody Disgusting‘s Brad Miska as a number of details started making their way to the public eye about the film.

This is a big change for the project, especially since it had been touted in the past as a reboot of the 1981 film that starred Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef and Ernest Borgnine. That cult favorite helped push the dystopian future concept, which showed New York City becoming a maximum security prison by 1997. And after the president’s plane crashes inside this prison, a bank robber – Russell’s eye-patched Snake Plissken – must rescue him.

Whether it will be a direct prequel or not, that’s unclear. Reports are that Fox could take more of a Planet of the Apes route, where we feel that the new stories are heading toward the classic universe, but at some point even those might be rebooted if the franchise gets popular enough.

hauk-inset120216And there will be some changes, at least according to The Wrap. The biggest one is that Hauk, played by the late Van Cleef, will now be recast as a woman – CIA deputy executive director Roberta Hauk. Also, New York City won’t be a maximum security prison this time.

In the reboot, New York is breathtakingly lovely. Manhattan is the island we know, but with more 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.

Also, one other big change is that the ticking clock Snake has will be much shorter. In the 1981 film, Russell’s character had 22 hours to rescue the president. In the new Escape, he’ll have just 11.

In the reboot, New York is breathtakingly lovely. Manhattan is the island we know, but with more 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.

Fox has had this film in development for a long time, originally with Rock of Ages writer Allen Loeb attached. The job has since moved to Neil Cross, the creator of BBC’s Luther and the short-lived Crossbones for NBC.

escapeny-inset120216The original 1981 film, which Carpenter wrote Nick Castle, earned $25.2 million at the box office, or $69.2 million today. Home video, however, was a key factor in pushing this film into cult popularity status, producing a sequel in 1996, Escape from L.A., which essentially had the same box office – $25.4 million, or $39.1 million today.

Fox still has no timetable on when filming might begin, or when fans might actually finally be able to see it. So we guess we’ll say that Escape From New York is coming soon.

Maybe.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.