It seems that everyone is trying to get away from New Line’s planned remake of John Carpenter’s ’80s action classic Escape From New York.
Recently, it had been rumored that Brett Ratner, the director of the Rush Hour series, had been selected to fill the director’s chair for a departing Len Wiseman. However, in a report late last week on AintItCool (who have never shown Ratner any love), the director stated that the rumors of his involvement with the remake are just that- rumors. Reportedly, Terminator 3 director Jonathan Mostow has now been brought in to rewrite Ken Nolan’s script, with an option to direct.
Now Variety is reporting that star Gerard Butler has left the project, citing the euphemistic “creative differences.” This amount of churn in the creative side of the production does not bode well, hinting at juicier stories behind the scene.
Personally, though, none of these choices have filled me with great confidence. I wasn’t a fan of Wiseman’s Underworld, Mostow’s Terminator 3 was entirely unnecessary given how James Cameron wrapped up the second film and Ratner is particularly inept when it comes to staging and shooting action scenes, dialogue and, well, just about anything else. Butler is a good actor, but I don’t think he’s right for the lead in this movie. His casting seems to be based more on the fact that he’s weel built and looks menacing with facial hair than anything else.
New Line needs to let this project sit on the backburner for a while. Perhaps their energies would be better spent at smoothing things over with Peter Jackson so he can start on an adaptation of The Hobbit and developing some original film ideas that will knock our socks off the way Carpenter’s original Escape From New York did.