For years there have been rumblings about more to come from the world of Snake Plissken. Escape From New York and Escape From LA were rumored to be followed by Escape From Earth as a third part in the franchise. This never came to pass. Then for many more years there was talk of a remake of John Carpenter’s 1981 original.


Kurt Russell starred as the imprisoned former special forces soldier Plissken, in a near future where the US is a totalitarian theocratic police state, and the island of Manhattan has been completely walled off as a maximum security prison. When the US President crash lands there after ejecting from a hijacked Air Force One, Plissken has twenty-four hours to go in and rescue him.

A remake of Escape from New York began development way back in 2007, when New Line Cinema won the rights in a bidding war. Gerard Butler was attached to play the lead. Len Wiseman was announced to direct, but was later replaced by Brett Ratner, who also stepped off the project.

In April 2010, Variety reported that Breck Eisner was being looked at to direct the remake with David Kajganich and Allan Loeb providing revisions to the script. Then in 2011 New Line had dropped the remake completely.

In January 2015, 20th Century Fox purchased the remake rights with Robert Rodriguez to direct and Carpenter producing. Then in February 2019, it was reported that Leigh Whannell will be writing the script after Luther creator Neil Cross completed a treatment. Wyatt Russell, son of Kurt, was considered to portray Plissken, but said he had no interest in the role and called it “career suicide”. For a little while there was no news…

Then last month it was announced that Scream and Ready or Not directing group Radio Silence (Tyler Gillett, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, and Chad Villella) would direct the remake.

Well, now it seems it is not a remake at all. In an interview with EW they revealed a different direction. Gillet said:

“Not a remake. That’s one of those properties that you can’t [remake], it’s sort of untouchable to us, and lives in its own stratosphere in terms of how important it is to us, and how much we love it. So it’ll be not unlike ‘Scream,’ I think; a nod to, and a continuation of, what we love about those characters and that world.”

Villella then spoke about progress so far:

“We’re developing our take, and hopefully, it will be going to script sometime in the New Year, and just really starting to lay the groundwork for that. But very early stages.”

So will Kurt Russell return to the role that broke him away from his past career in Disney movies? Is Escape From Earth a go? Or will they somehow return to the Manhattan penitentiary?

A young James Cameron with his miniatures from the 1981 original

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