Saturday, June 30, 2007

ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK remake script gets amazingly positive early review!

We've known for a few months now that New Line was remaking Escape from New York, this time with Gerard Butler as Snake Plissken (the role in the original that's probably most responsible for catapulting Kurt Russell to fame). I really liked Butler's portrayal as Leonidas in 300 but all the same: an Escape from New York remake? That's one of my favorite movies of all time, in spite of how "dated" it now is.

I've thought for awhile that a remake wasn't necessary: that John Carpenter or somebody should just "enhance" the original. So much did I think this was a good idea that a year ago I attempted my own "re-edit" of the 1982 original movie. The "Chris Knight edit" was going to be more timeless, set during a vague point in time in a post-9/11 world. I managed to "tweak" the audio so that Hauk tells Snake that he's landing the glider atop Trump Tower (since the World Trade Center was no longer there). And I was able to completely remove the center's twin towers from the shot where we first see the city after rising over the wall. But the most complete that the project got was the "retouched" script, which I just worked to update some details. Other than that, it was the very same story. And I haven't wanted that to be messed with one bit.

Well, guess what...

Merrick over at Ain't It Cool News wound up with a draft of the script for the Escape from New York remake. And what does Merrick have to say about this project?

...let's concentrate on my theory about what legitimizes a remake…or what ingredients make for a "successful" remake. From my perspective, there are two factors that might make a remake worthwhile:

1) Do the current filmmakers demonstrate a respect for/understanding of the source material they're drawing from?

2) Do whatever NEW elements filmmakers bring to a remake a) Feel like organic extensions of the story they’re remaking, or b) Help realize qualities that couldn’t be brought to the screen the first time around (due to budgetary limitations, social restraints, or... whatever)?

Which brings us back to the script for New Line's currently-in-development remake of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. Does it meet the above criteria? Surprisingly enough... bewilderingly enough... and I never thought I'd say this... ever... SO FAR... YES!!!

There are spoilers galore in his review. If you don't want to read those, let me put it this way: after reading Merrick's take on this, if this is the direction that they're taking with redoing Escape from New York, then this is one movie that I am absolutely anticipating as much as any other. The new Escape from New York sounds as if it's going to be among the most faithful and respectful to the original material out of all the remakes that we've seen too much of in recent years.

I just can't begin to say how excited I am all of a sudden for this movie! So count Escape from New York as a movie that I'll be making period reports about between now and it's premiere.


qemuel said...

The jury is still out with me on this one being made. We'll see...