While the Dwayne Johnson-starring remake of John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China isn’t holding much promise, Twentieth Century Fox’s Escape From New York reboot could just be something worthwhile. The studio have just released a number of details about their upcoming version of Carpenter’s 1981 classic, which is to act as both a fresh take on the story and a prequel of sorts, taking a similar approach to their new Planet of the Apes films. From the information shared, it really sounds like they’re doing their own thing with the film, even to the point that Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell in the original) will reportedly – wait for it – NOT be sporting his trademark eyepatch.
According to TheWrap, Neal Cross, who created much-loved BBC crime drama Luther, beat several other writers to the job of penning the script, a first draft of which he reportedly delivered in late October. Read on for a rundown of some of the key ways in which the new script differs from Carpenter’s film.
• Snake has been given a ‘real’ name; he’s now Colonel Robert ‘Snake’ Plissken.
• The main villain is not the Duke of New York, but charismatic, playboy heir to a biotech company, Thomas Newton.
• The film will bring its own spin to the notorious deleted opening scene from the original, showing how Snake was apprehended. The opening will not take place in New York, but a major city outside the US.
• In perhaps the biggest change, New York is not a walled-in maximum security prison. Instead, it is depicted as a Black Mirror-esque utopia/dystopia in which the populace is controlled by technology. While the city looks stunning, all of its citizens are watched by ever-present drones and a small staff of technicians known as ‘seers’, and are kept in check by a female AI character called April.
• The film will depict an all-too-plausible near-future world in which 1 in 75 human begins globally is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum.
• The time Snake has to complete his mission has halved, from 22 hours in the original, to 11 here. His mission is to take in Newton alive.
On top of all that, Fox has also revealed that the whole of New York will be put in jeopardy by April’s security system, which is not as sturdy as it could be. Also, there’s a hurricane on the way, known as Superstorm Ellery.
No news yet on when shooting is expected to begin, but with an apparently epic new take on the story, this could be one reboot that fans will gladly welcome.
Words: Kevan Farrow (@KevanX)