On the very first episode of his interview show The Director’s Chair, Robert Rodriguez (above) talked with John Carpenter about his influences and how he became a filmmaker. In the in-depth and very informative interview, Rodriguez acknowledged that Carpenter was one of his inspirations.
Now Rodriguez will follow directly in Carpenter’s footsteps. He is in talks to direct a new version of Escape from New York, according to The Tracking Board.
Carpenter’s original, released in 1981, starred Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken, a convicted bank robber who was charged with rescuing the president of the United States after he crash-lands in Manhattan, which has been transformed into a lawless maximum-security prison. The movie became a cult classic and inspired a sequel, Escape from L.A., in 1996.
Back in December, we heard that the movie might be a prequel rather than a remake. The latest report suggests that Fox, which currently holds screen rights to the property, wants to follow the formula employed by Rise of the Planet of the Apes and use the new Escape from New York to launch another franchise.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes borrowed plot elements from several of the original Apes movies to craft a new origin story, so perhaps Escape from New York will seek to blaze a trail between a prequel and a remake. In any event, we know that John Carpenter is happy with the choice.
Robert Rodriguez is directing “Escape from New York”. I am thrilled. He is a great director. https://t.co/mj0FfiVJEE
— John Carpenter (@TheHorrorMaster) March 25, 2017
Carpenter will serve as an executive producer on the project. As noted above, he’s familiar with Rodriguez, who in his own work has paid homage to his genre influences while carving out a distinctive identity as a filmmaker. Right now, Rodriguez is finishing up work on Alita: Battle Angel, a big sci-fi movie for Fox, so the studio is quite familiar with him too.
The combination of those factors may make him the ideal choice to helm Escape from New York. We’ll wait to see if he’s confirmed as director and then what his plans may be to put his own stamp on the project.