New Line has put Escape From NY back on track thanks to a new script rewrite from Allan Loeb, the man behind Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
According to NY Mag’s Vulture blog “Loeb nailed the humor in Plissken without slipping into camp, and he changed Snake’s rescue-mission target from a president to a female senator, thereby upping the banter quotient.”
(Side note- I’m endlessly amused by the idea of the studio actually measuring the banter quotient. Some suits in New Line going “I really like this script, but I’m concerned about the banter quotient. Can we up that?”)
One other reason the script rewrite was so desirable was because it would be so cheap to shoot. Unlike the original that featured a destroyed NYC after World War III blew it to pieces (that was then transformed into a giant prison), this Manhattan was hit by a dirty bomb and evacuated, leaving things intact yet deserted.
“It is not a disaster movie,” says a source close to the project. “It is an exposé of an ecosystem, if you put a huge wall around Manhattan and then dropped in the most fucked-up, dangerous criminals on Earth.”
The authorities this time (a private security company, not the police) have once again set up camp in the Statue of Liberty and have prisoners being processed through Ellis Island. Clever.
While these seem to be relatively minor changes in the long run, John Carpenter isn’t letting his baby go without some important stipulations. For example, he forced New Line to sign a contract with him that Plissken “must be called ‘Snake'”; “must wear an eye patch” and, most awesome of all- “must always be a ‘bad-ass.” Seriously.
Good for him- last thing we need is a metrosexual Snake. We’ll just have to see if there’s another Duke of NY, A #1 out there.
Let the dream casting commence!