‘No, seriously, I heard you was dead’…..
Well, well, well – another franchise hesitantly rises from the ashes of development hell. Some interesting news for fans of Snake ‘Call me Snake’ Plisken today, with the emergence of a new shepherd for the long gestating reboot of the Escape From New York series of films – Joel Silver. For the uninitiated Silver just happens to be the snarling force behind the likes of The Matrix, Lethal Weapon, Predator and the original Die Hard movies - quite the rogues gallery eh? - and frankly if anyone is gonna finally get an action/SF hybrid to screen with a reasonable deployment of star and scriptwriting prowess then he’s clearly the man for the job. This has been a long time coming but I’m certain with Silver on board this will gain some traction, although when we consider the pedigree of the other remakes / reimagining / revomits of Carpenters 70’s and 80’s material I think it’s fair to say that ones expectations are not exactly high – The Fog, Assault On Precinct 13, Halloween, The Thing – all mediocre at best, horrendous travesties regardless of source material at worst. As I mentioned before, like Snake ‘I’m too tired’ to care about precious originals being trampled and mangled through the focus groups and modern marketing imperatives of contemporary movies, to be frank Halloween aside it’s not as if the originals particularly set the box office alight, but their influence and inspiration on genre cinema is incalculable. The likes of Jonathan Mostow, Gerald Butler and now anyone related to the bloody awful Taken movies fills me with dread, we’ll just have to see who Silver enlists for this volatile tampering with a beloved cult classic. Where’s the inevitable They Live remake, that’s what I wanna know….
Where’s Snake gonna land his inevitable CGI glider now then ? Central Park? Now quite as exciting as taking the vessel onto the top floor of the WTC is it? Will it still be set in 1997? Doubtful. Will they outline a trilogy when the long rumoured Escape From Earth as the final instalment? Will Kurt do a cameo? Who the hell’s gonna beat the original soundtrack? All these questions, and more, will not be answered soon. So since some of you have asked may I humbly suggest Viggo Mortensen as our growling anti-hero as who could pull off the eyepatch? Then agin he’s a bit too ‘serious’ of an actor these days. Well then I guess Tom Hardy as Plisken, his name’s been in the frame before but I guess we’ll have to see how that Mad Max remake does first – apparently the shoot has been fairly horrendous. I dunno, Josh Brolin? Just not Christian Bale – he’s greedy. Philip Seymour Hoffman as Brain is pretty much a given, Jaime Lee Curtis (aaaaah, meta y’see) as Maggie, Tommy Lee Jones or Harvey Keitel as the President, Ron Perlman as Cabby, Ahnoldt as Bob Hawke, Jay-Z as the Duke (although they’ll probably get Fishbourne given his Matrix connections) and most importantly Rami Malek as the creepy Romero, one of the all time great cult movie figures given his earlier, memorable addition of a vanilla twist with a bullet in a previous Carpenter escapade. Hey, any excuse required and I’ll happy re-post this excised opening sequence to the 1981 Western SF cult classic;