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Snake is back?! ‘Escape From New York’ reboot moving forward with ‘Scream 5’ directors

John Carpenter also returns to his classic dystopian franchise in an executive producing role.

Kurt Russell Escape From New York GETTY

Hard to believe, but it’s been four decades since Snake Plissken first did the government’s dystopian dirty work as a ticking human time bomb in John Carpenter’s dark sci-fi classic Escape From New York. Now a long-gestating reboot to the film that spawned a legion of homages — from the Metal Gear video games to a fun Statue of Liberty call-out in Cloverfield — has reportedly found its new directing team.

Deadline reports that Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, and Chad Villella — also known under their brand-name banner as Radio Silence — have been tapped to helm the Escape From New York revival film that’s been brewing at 20th Century Studios with original director John Carpenter on board as an executive producer.

After years of faltering efforts to revive the franchise — including the rumored involvement, at varying stages, of everyone from Robert Rodriguez to Jeremy Renner to (most recently) Leigh Whannell — it’s the first bit of recent news surrounding the upcoming reboot’s progress since 20th Century revealed the current effort all the way back in 2019.

Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett reintroduced Ghostface to horror fans earlier this year in the Scream franchise revival that reunited the core cast from Wes Craven’s 1996 original movie (and they’ve since reportedly wrapped production on an incoming direct sequel). The full directing trio, meanwhile, has built out a paranormal and horror film résumé that includes the V/H/S series as well as Devil’s Due, Southbound, and Ready or Not.

Carpenter’s 1981 movie memorably starred Kurt Russell as Snake, the ciggy treat-munching, eye patch-wearing ex-soldier discarded by the government as a throwaway prisoner…until he’s recruited as a last-ditch army of one to rescue the president (Donald Pleasence) from a gang of guerrilla holdouts led by the Duke of New York (Isaac Hayes) in the once-great walled-off city. Sweetening the deal, of course, is Snake’s impossible predicament: If he succeeds, a presidential pardon (supposedly) awaits. But if he fails, his handlers threaten to remotely detonate the time-released micro-explosives they injected into Snake’s body as an insurance policy against his escape.

Made for only $6 million, the first Escape movie cleared more than $25 million at the global box office, spawning Snake’s return in the 1996 sequel Escape from L.A. and elevating Russell’s gruff, resourceful anti-hero to enduring cult classic status. With Carpenter and other key creative pieces at last in place for the reboot, there’s no further word — yet — on the new movie’s casting, story, or release date.

Looking for more sci-fi spectacles? Check out Jordan Peele's NOPE, streaming now on Peacock.

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