‘Escape From New York’ Reboot Faces Big Setback

If you've been eager for the reboot of John Carpenter's Escape From New York, we have some unfortunate news. While a new version of the iconic film has been in development for some time now, the movie just lost its directors: Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin of the filmmaking collective Radio Silence.

In a recent interview with ComicBook.com, the duo was asked if they are still part of the project. "We are not, unfortunately," Gillett confirmed. "I think titles like that bounce around for a while and I think they've tried to get that out of the blocks a few times. I think it's just ultimately a tricky rights issue thing. There's a clock on it and we just weren't in a position to make the clock, ultimately. 

Gillett continued, "But who knows? I think, in hindsight, it feels crazy that we would think we would, post-Scream, step into a John Carpenter franchise. You never know. There's still interest in it and we've had a few conversations about it but we're not attached in any official capacity."

Originally released in 1981, Escape From New York was directed by Carpenter (Halloween, Big Trouble in Little China) from a script he wrote with Nick Castle. Set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian future world of 1997, a crime-ridden United States has converted New York City's Manhattan Island into the country's sole maximum security prison. The film picks up with Air Force One being hijacked by anti-government insurgents who intentionally crash it into the walled-up borough.

This leads to ex-Special Forces soldier — and current federal prisoner — Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) being called up and given just 24 hours to go in and rescue the U.S. President, after which — if he's successful — he'll be pardoned.

Escape From New York is often considered one of the great genre films of the 20th century. It earned $25.2 million at the box office, on a budget of $6 million, and has gone on to both cult and classic status among film critics and fans. It would later go on to spawn a sequel, Escape from L.A., in 1996.

Radio Silence is an acclaimed filmmaking team that helmed Scream (2021) and Scream VI, as well as Ready or Not and the recent heralded vampire film, Abigail. The company's next project is Fountain of Youth, a Guy Ritchie film — written by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, the Scream franchise) — co-produced by Apple TV+. 

Fountain of Youth is about "a pair of estranged siblings team up and embark on a journey to find the famed Fountain of Youth," and it stars John Krasinski, Natalie Portman, Domhnall Gleeson, Eiza González, Laz Alonso, Arian Moayed, and Carmen Ejogo. At this time, Fountain of Youth does not have an announced release date.