ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK: UPGRADE Director Leigh Whannell Wants Wyatt Russell for the Long Developing Reboot of the Original Classic

By: John M Jerva

It’s been over a year since it was announced that Upgrade Director Leigh Whannell was tasked with writing a reboot to John Carpenter’s iconic Escape From New York and do much time has passed that I truly forgot about it.

Well, the reboot is back in the news as Whannell chatted with Comic, where he served up some much needed 411 on the project with one juicy tidbit of news being that he rolls like to see Kurt Russell’s son Wyatt take over the iconic role of Snake Plissken. Makes sense and it would be a good move in smoothing over fans who are against the project.

In the interview for his latest flick, The Invisible Man, Whannell stated, “seems like the obvious thing to win the fans over.” Russell’s son Wyatt has been seen in the well received Overlord would be a well fitting choice to follow in his father’s footsteps as the anti-hero with one eye.

Wyatt Russell

Whannell also chatted about the hurdles overcoming developing the reboot from a film that is so loved by genre fans.

“It’s funny, I’ve been so busy working on this film where I haven’t had time to circle back around on that project. Sometimes these press releases go out before you’re ready, you’re like, ‘Don’t tell the world!’ I don’t actually know, I really don’t. That is an iconic character and I think that Snake Plissken is a part of people’s childhood and their adolescence. It’s near and dear to them. So I would tread very carefully with that. I feel like a property like that doesn’t have the same freedom as maybe something like ‘The Invisible Man’ does. He has more elasticity as a character because so many people have had their fingerprints on that. There’s been TV shows and comic books, whereas with Escape from New York, we’re talking about one definitive movie here and you don’t want to mess with it. We’ll see what happens.”

So basically, it looks like it’s gonna be quite sometime until we see anything materialize on the film and I wouldn’t hold my breathe. Many fans out there would be just fine with it never happening at all. I for one am always game to see how reboots and remakes turn out and have been very vocal in the past about liking newer incarnations over the original ones.

It has also been said that Whannell would like to keep certain aspects of the classic while bringing in new things to it at the same time. It’s clear that the studio doesn’t want to make a mistake on it like with what happened to ROBOCOP and Total Recall.

Kurt Russell in the original classic

The original plot for Escape From New York: “In 1997, a major war between the United States and the Soviet Union is concluding, and the entire island of Manhattan has been converted into a giant maximum security prison. When Air Force One is hijacked and crashes into the island, the president (Donald Pleasence) is taken hostage by a group of inmates. Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell), a former Special Forces soldier turned criminal, is recruited to retrieve the president in exchange for his own freedom.”

The path for the reboot has been been long and winding with Robert Rodriguez attached at one time to helm but he dropped out a while ago. There is no word if Whannell would direct the film but it would be the obvious choice.

Stay tuned and keep it locked and loaded right here for more on the story!


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