Robert Rodriguez will direct “Escape From New York,” 20th Century Fox’s remake of John Carpenter’s 1981 film, Deadline reports. Fox won a bidding war for rights to the project in 2015. Studiocanal owned the rights to the original, which was released by Avco Embassy.
Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman’s The Picture Company will produce. “Luther” writer Neil Cross is writing the script. Carpenter will executive produce the project. Fox aims to breathe new life into the property, with the intention of launching a franchise.
Rodriguez just finished working with Fox on “Alita: Battle Angel,” an action-adventure film based on Yukito Kishiro’s manga graphic novels. The script for the film was written by James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis. Set in the 26th century, the story follows a female cyborg who’s rescued from the scrap heap by a scientist. The movie hits theaters on July 20, 2018 and stars Rosa Salazar and Christoph Waltz.
Carpenter co-wrote the original “Escape From New York” in the wake of the Watergate scandal, setting the movie in the future, circa 1997. The story follows a former special forces operative (Kurt Russell) who tried to rob the Federal Reserve and now has to rescue the President of the United States — or be killed — after Air Force One crashes in New York City, which is now a maximum security prison.
Rodriguez and Carpenter have collaborated before, as Rodriguez’s El Rey Network last year announced the launch of “The People’s Network Showcase,” which features short films from emerging filmmakers. The second episode of season one premieres on Friday, March 31.