A couple years back, New Line Cinema was trying to remake John Carpenter’s 1981 sci-fi actioner Escape from New York. They first hired Live Free or Die Hard helmer Len Wiseman, who got replaced with Brett Ratner. I wasn’t excited about either of the two filmmakers rebooting Snake Plissken, although Wiseman’s production design background made him the better choice of the two. This is a time right after 300 made huge bank at the box office, resulting in the casting of Gerard Butler as the new Plissken. The project thankfully fell into the wayside, never to be heard from again… until now.
Breck Eisner, director of The Crazies, has signed on to direct the remake of Escape from New York, set up with producer Neal H. Moritz‘s Original Films. HeatVision says they will be sticking with Allan Loeb‘s draft, which “tries to mix an origin story for anti-hero Snake Plissken and merge it with the story of the 1981 original.”
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Columbia Pictures has optioned the rights to make a movie based on the classic superhero character The Green Hornet.
Movie studios have been trying to turn The Green Hornet into a feature film for years now. In the 1990s, George Clooney and Jason Scott Lee were supposedly lined up to play the leads. In the late 90s, Music video director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind) worked with RoboCop screenwriter Edward Neumeier on a possible adaptation. In the Summer of 2004, Miramax purchased the rights for a writing/directing vehicle for Clerks director Kevin Smith. Smith later decided that he didn’t want to be responsible for an effects and action laden movie, and the film went into turnaround. And now, Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift producer Neal H. Moritz obtained the film rights and optioned them to Sony.
The crime-fighting character was created by Fran Striker and George Trendle, who also created The Lone Ranger, for a radio serial that launched in 1936 on WXYZ Detriot. The series detailed the adventures of millionaire publisher Britt Reid, a debonair newspaper publisher by day, crime-fighting masked hero at night, along with his sidekick, Kato. The series has had several incarnations, including film series, a live-action 1960’s TV series that starred Van Williams and introduced Bruce Lee to U.S. audiences, and a comic book series.
I believe, one of the many reasons the feature film has never gotten off the ground is that contemporary audiences aren’t interested in this old character. He’s not much of a recognized name outside of the superhero world. But this could possibly be a good thing, allowing the screenwriters to ahve more wiggle room (usually comic book cannon prevents writers from straying far from the character’s roots). But on the other hand, look how that turned out for Catwoman.