Leigh Whannell Will Tackle the Escape From New York Remake

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Just when you thought you’d escaped the Escape From New York remake, once again it rears its giant, decapitated Statue of Liberty head.

Fox won the rights to remake the classic 1981 John Carpenter film in 2015 and been looking for the right people to do the job ever since. Alita: Battle Angel director Robert Rodriguez was circling it at one point, but a new person has been dropped inside its walls: Leigh Whannell.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Whannell has been hired to reimagine and write the sequel, with the potential to direct. Just this week Whannell signed on to remake The Invisible Man for Universal and Blumhouse, so those two projects could be competing for his services. We’ll have to see how it plays out.


Whannell is best known for co-creating the Saw and Insidious franchises with pal James Wan. He made his directorial debut with that franchise’s third installment, Insidious Chapter 3, and followed it up with last year’s other Venom movie, Upgrade.

Whannell himself confirmed the news on Twitter.


So we know he’s in, though we have no idea when pre-production might happen, or what the next step will be.

The one other piece of information in that report, though, is that “Whannell is kickstarting Escape with a new vision for the project that sources say will retain elements of the original but bring new ideas to the table.” In his mind, that will help him avoid the failures of similar sci-fi remakes like Total Recall and RoboCop—remakes you may have erased from your mind, but totally happened.


The question is, will the new Escape From New York join that list? We hope not.

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