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I Heard You Were Dead: Escape From New York Is Alive At Fox With This Producer

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Snake PlisskenWell, this is an interesting bit of news. I still can’t fully get behind a remake of Escape From New York, one of my all time favorite movies, something that I think is damn near perfect, but if you’re going to reboot a movie, you might as well bring along the original mastermind. John Carpenter wrote, directed, and scored the 1981 classic, and not only has Fox secured the rights to remake the film, they’ve got Carpenter on board as an executive producer.

We’ve been hearing about this do-over since at least 2010, long enough and sporadic enough that it never truly seemed like it was going to happen, but now Deadline reports that things are rolling. Fox’s bid was the top of several offers fielded by StudioCanal, who once planned to make the film with Joel Silver. Before that, New Line Cinema had their eyes on this particular prize, with The Crazies director Brock Eisner at the helm. And if you want to go even farther back into ancient history, Len Wiseman (Underworld and the Total Recall remake) was working on a version with Gerard Butler taking over the role of Kurt Russell’s legendary badass Snake Plissken.

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Snake Plissken Kicks Ass In Art And Vids From Canceled Video Game And Animated Series

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There are plenty of dead-end projects that could have been awesome if they’d actually come together — that Buckaroo Banzai sequel, David Cronenberg’s Total Recall, the Rendezvous with Rama movie Morgan Freeman has been trying to get made for 15+ years — but as a gamer, this one stings. Footage from an abandoned video game and anime-style TV series starring the legendary Snake Plissken has popped up online, and it makes me sad, sad, sad.

The video above was posted by a former developer for Namco, who were responsible for 2003’s Dead to Rights and 2004’s Kill Switch. Called Snake Plissken’s First Escape, the game was first announced back in 2003, and set for release in “2005 A.D.” The game would have borrowed Kurt Russell’s likeness — it’d be pretty damn pointless if it didn’t — but there’s no word if he would have returned to voice the iconic character. He did approve the game’s storyline, along with director John Carpenter and Escape from New York/L.A. producer Debra Hill.

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The Thing Would Have Had A Much Less Ambiguous Ending If Universal Had Its Way

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ThingJohn Carpenter’s The Thing is a certified genre classic, and at least some of the credit for that comes down to its bleak, ambiguous ending. It leaves audiences — and its two surviving characters — without any answers or resolution, a brave choice given that Hollywood likes a lot of things, but complexity and ambiguity aren’t generally on that list. It shouldn’t surprise us, then, to learn that Universal, the studio behind The Thing, tried to talk Carpenter into leaving audiences with a more traditional — and much less interesting — final scene.

Speaking at the CapeTown Film Festival a few weeks back, Carpenter revealed that Universal put up “big time” resistance to the director’s vision of The Thing’s ending, and instead wanted to basically just chop off the last part of what we saw in the finished film. Here’s how Carpenter recalls it:

The studio asked me to cut the movie, drop out the final scene, have Kurt Russell do what he does with the dynamite, blow it up and then walk out, and the movie ends. It didn’t test any differently. I said, ‘We’re not gonna do that. We’re gonna do my ending.’