Robert Rodriguez will direct the Escape from New York remake

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The American director, who also has his own TV network, has been tapped to sit behind the camera on the upcoming remake of Escape from New York. Putting aside all the regular complaints about remakes aside, fans of the cult-classic movie do have some concerns about the changes to the original concept which Darryn told us about late last year. The selection of Rodriguez probably won’t do much to assuage that given his very up-and-down track record.

For all five of you who don’t know what the original Escape from New York was about, allow me to edjamakate youse. Directed by John Carpenter and released in 1981, the movie starred Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken – an eye patch-wearing ex-Special Forces soldier convicted of bank robbery. He’s promised his freedom in exchange for rescuing the President of the United States within 24 hours from the island of Manhatten, New York City which, in the far-flung dsytopian future of 1997, had been turned into an unsupervised maximum security prison / dumping ground for undesirables where criminal gangs ruled. The ’80s were a strange time.

The remake is reportedly inverting the prison dynamic. New York City is now a beacon of civilisation run by an A.I. while the outside world is a chaotic place with millions of people classed as refugees. Snake will only have 11 hours to complete his mission before the city is hit by a super-storm, and his primary antagonist will be a corporate CEO. That’s a serious amount of unsubtle social commentary. Surveillance states, refugees, climate change, and billionaires… and Snake in the middle of it all.

Personally I’m not too fussed by the choice because I’ve enjoyed all the Rodriguez-directed movies I’ve watched. Movies like Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, Sin City and Machete were all solidly entertaining movies and demonstrated that he can handle anti-heroes and larger than life characters perfectly well. My mild concerns about the changes to the core concept are tempered by the fact that Luthor writer Neil Cross is in charge of the script, and that 20th Century Fox has done a stellar job of not only remaking Planet of the Apes but turning it into a booming franchise.

What do you think?

P.S. I like Escape from L.A. more anyway, it has the best ending.

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