Remake news for Escape from New York and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Posted by David Konow

Believe it or not, we’re not exactly pleased about the endless parade of genre remakes Hollywood has lined up on the conveyor belt.

As a longtime horror fan, I’m especially irked about the horror reboots, but in the case of the beloved Evil Dead, the new version is actually getting good reviews, and sometimes a remake can really deliver, like Scarface, and Christopher Nolan’s reboot of Batman.
So two remakes we’ve been following at TG that we originally thought were defunct are now apparently back in play, namely Escape From New York and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Apparently every great John Carpenter film will be remade in our lifetime, even though Escape From New York frankly isn’t one of his best. (We also have to say that even though the movie’s lacking, in all fairness Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken will always be an icon of cool).
When Carpenter co-wrote Escape with Nick Castle in 1974, New York was one of the most crime ridden cities in the country, but it’s been considerably cleaned up since then. (Ironically, the movie takes place in 1997, which was far away in the future back then, but by that point in time New York would be a much safer place to live).
Several years back, the news of a planned Escape From New York remake came up, with Kurt Russell voicing his displeasure that one of his favorite roles would be taken over by someone else. Then, like a lot of movies in development, it fell apart. Now a report on Deadline tells us that veteran Hollywood producer Joel Silver (Die Hard, The Matrix) is working with Studio Canal to bring Escape back.
As far as who will be the new Snake, Gerard Butler, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hardy were all being looked at, and Collider tells us Liam Neeson may play Plissken this go around, which is not bad casting. Oddly enough, this new version of Escape could also be a trilogy, with the first one setting up the story a la Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Another remake that’s been in the works forever is the big screen version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. I remember first hearing about an U.N.C.L.E. remake back in the ‘90’s, when Quentin Tarantino wanted to do it similar to Brian DePalma’s take on Mission: Impossible. Last year it also looked like Steven Soderberg (Traffic, Sex, Lies and Videotape) was going to direct with George Clooney starring, but that soon fell apart.
Now news comes in that Tom Cruise, who has the sci-fi epic Oblivion coming on April 19, is currently up to play Napoleon Solo with Guy Ritchie directing. While Ritchie’s work can often be way too flashy, he has definitely done some terrific flicks before, like Snatch, which I thought was hilarious, and his reinvention of Sherlock Holmes. So can he and Cruise perform similar magic with U.N.C.L.E.? Will this version of U.N.C.L.E. even get made? Stay tuned…