What the fuck does this have to do with zombies? Ok, ok. So the remake of Escape From New York, John Carpenter's brilliant (yes, brilliant) 1981 film is being remade by Breck Eisner, the director of George Romero's wonderful (but flawed) The Crazies. Get it now? Aw, shut up.
So, Eisner spoke with iF MAgazine about the project and how its going and how he is NOT directing a remake of David Cronenberg's The Brood.
ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK is real, and I passed on THE BROOD. I just liked the original BROOD too much and the execution was perfect. I remember liking the original and thinking it was way out there, different and took incredible chances. I watched it again. It still holds up. It’s gutsy filmmaking. It has some really cool and intense things going on. It felt to me, I wanted to leave that movie alone and I wasn’t the guy to do it. ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK is a remake I am doing at New Line that I definitely feel is worth the remake. It’s a great concept with an awesome character in Snake Plisskin and it’s a movie that had limited resources when it was made back in the day, much different technology and world was a completely different place. The movie commented on the world in a different way than it will today. It’s one I would love to recreate and expose to a whole different audience.
The implication Eisner makes is that The Brood is perfect, but Carpenter's Escape could use some fixing, which I vehemently disagree with, but then Eisner admits that he would have to tone down The Brood, which he doesn't want to do. Then, in a roundabout way, Eisner says that Escape From LA opened the door to a remake.
It’s absolutely a risky one doing ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. There were two of them, but I consider there is only one real ESCAPE. There was ESCAPE FROM L.A. and it was really terrible. That character died a bit for me and a lot of fans when they had him surfing a wave in L.A. or whatever he was doing. Of course there is a lot of pressure for casting and whatever actor decides he wants to play Snake. The character that was established by John Carpenter and by Kurt Russell, that character will still be there. That’s going to be the same character. Snake Plisskin is going to be Snake Plisskin. He’s going to still be badass, still wear an eye patch and still be a total anti-hero. Kurt Russell created that character and that character is still going to exist in the execution of the new film. The truths of Snake are going to remain the truths of Snake. His name is Snake for chrissakes, he has an eye patch. [laughs] How many different ways can you go with that?
Eisner says that the other major characters will also return.
In ways very close, in terms of concept, character and characters. All those characters are there – Cabby. Brain. Snake. In terms of the staging, the actions, set pieces, some of the plot, that’s going to change. The set up and the island of course is changing. The original ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK was a commentary on urban decay and surburban flights coming out of the '70s and early ‘80s. That doesn’t hold true anymore today, so it’s going to have a different set-up and different social relevance.
My goal is to shoot the whole thing in New York. It depends on affordability. We have to keep the film under control cost wide. We will certainly be shooting some of it New York and suing set extensions to replicate New York. I want the movie to look like New York. Every shot, has to be identifiably New York, not some generic, abandoned warehouse.
Eisner says he's going to try to get Russell to do a cameo, but it's doubtful he'll agree. He'll have time to pursue Russell as he awaits a new draft of the script, Eisner told ComingSoon.
I would be surprised if I found a script that I was just ready to make. I'm bringing on another writer this week and we will do a pass on the latest draft by Allan Loeb. We'll be doing a significant pass on that.
In other words, it'll be a while.