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Kurt Russell in Escape from New York
Embassy Pictures

Dust off your eye patch, find your machete and get ready to Escape From New York again. Fox has just landed the rights to reboot John Carpenter’s cult classic film and transform it into a new franchise for the dystopia-hungry masses.

The 1981 film, which was written, directed and scored by Carpenter, was set in 1997 and starred Kurt Russell as special forces veteran Snake Plissken, who is sent into the maximum security prison formerly known as the island of Manhattan to rescue the President after Air Force One is hijacked and crashed into the wasteland.

Fox acquired the rights from StudioCanal after what was reportedly a very long and competitive bidding process. But they aren’t the first film company to try and revamp the film — both New Line and Silver Pictures have attempted this in the past.

While the Hollywood rumor mill has been working overtime on this project, including some intriguing ideas about casting Sons of Anarchy‘s Charlie Hunnam, The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal, or former Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens in the lead as Snake Plissken, Deadline reports that the project is starting from scratch.

Not that Fox will be entering the gang-filled Manhattan prison entirely alone. While the project is still in the very early stages of development, Carpenter is supposed to be on board as an executive producer who will “exert creative influence” over the project.

The success of films like The Hunger Games and Divergent show that audiences are always eager to enter dystopian futures (so long as they can leave again when the film is over). The re-boot of the Escape from New York franchise that presumably includes Carpenter’s 1996 sequel Escape From L.A., which was set in 2013, could translate to big box office returns for Fox, presuming they can get it off the ground.


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