The talk in Hollywood is that Timothy Olyphant, star of the terrific new FX drama Justified, is set to lead in a remake of the 1981 John Carpenter classic Escape From New York.
Don’t expect the remake to stay completely true to the original. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from Planet of the Apes, Psycho, and King Kong, the studios like to shake things up a bit more the second time around… for better or worse. In the original Kurt Russel plays Snake Plissken, a one-eyed soldier attempting to escape from Manhattan, which has been converted into a futuristic prison. The new version will use parts of the original but also give a bit more of a back story to Snake’s origins.
The biggest change to the new film seems to be that instead of trying to escape from a desolate post-apocolyptic New York City prison, Snake will be trying to escape from a penal colony.
“Plot-wise, they’re different, emotionally they’re very similar. That’s why it’ll be interesting to tackle this movie, to have a slightly different take but with the same results which is Manhattan is turned into a walled prison,” said the film’s director, Breck Eisner, who last helmed George Romero remake The Crazies, also with Olyphant.
Kurt Russell was great in the original role and Olyphant seems like a good enough choice for the part, but whether the new version can hold up to the original and equal success at the box office is anybody’s guess. But if John Carpenter got it right the first time, why try and fix what doesn’t need fixing?