Neil Cross, creator of the incredible Idris Elba-led series Luther, has been tapped to script 20th Century Fox’s action pic ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. The remake of John Carpenter’s 1981 classic is being produced by Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman of The Picture Company. Die-hard purists ought not to fear, as Carpenter is remaining creatively involved and will be executive producing the new iteration.
Sources confirm that Fox is trying to relaunch this one in the hopes of capturing the same success that was afforded to their Planets of the Apes revival. Mike Ireland is overseeing for the studio.
The 1981 original, directed by Carpenter and co-written by Carpenter and Nick Castle, starred Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken, an outlaw who’s tasked with rescuing the president of the U.S. from the decaying maximum security prison known as Manhattan. Set in the twisted future of 1997, the film was a box office success and led to an eventual sequel, Escape from LA, in 1996.
Escape from New York is the second Carpenter remake in development at Fox, as the studio is also in the works on remaking Carpenter’s cult favorite Big Trouble in Little China, with Dwayne Johnson starring in the role of Jack Burton, as made famous by Russell.
Cross, who beat out a slew of other scribes for the job, is a series creator who has sidestepped into features on occasion. He worked on the Jessica Chastain-led horror film Mama and the Guillermo del Toro-directed Pacific Rim.
However, Cross is best known for his series Luthor, which was renowned for it’s dark approach, gritty atmosphere, and superior character work. Luthor also of course helped propel the career of Idris Elba.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor