Escape From New York remake loses its directors

Escape From New York.
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Director duo Radio Silence confirm that a remake of John Carpenter’s Escape From New York is no longer on their slate.

Radio Silence are out and about at the moment promoting Abigail, their latest horror flick. When they aren’t going by their shared moniker, the duo are known as Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, and together they have co-directed a string of successful films. They include 2019’s Ready Or Not and the Scream series’ well-received return to the screen with the confusingly-titled pair of films, Scream and Scream VI.

While their latest film, Abigail hasn’t roared towards profitability, the film has scored decent reviews and will no doubt continue to find an audience on streaming in the same way that Ready Or Not did. The next project that we assumed Radio Silence would be working on was the widely reported reboot/sequel to Escape From New York, the 1981 dystopian classic that was directed by John Carpenter.

However, that appears not to be the case, with the duo revealing to that they are no longer attached to the film. They are quoted as saying “we are not [attached], unfortunately. 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.”

Read more: Abigail review | A bloody good film – if you haven’t seen the trailer

As to why they’ve decided to exit the project rather than wait around for the rights issue to be sorted, the duo went on to say that “there’s a clock on it and we just weren’t in a position to make the clock, ultimately. But who knows? I think, in hindsight, it feels crazy that we would think we would, post-Scream, step into a John Carpenter franchise.”

We can certainly understand the desire – after walking away from two Scream movies – to want to make something original (even if Abigail is a loose remake of an older Universal movie). Rights issues to Escape From New York may have been what bricked previous iterations of the project such as a Robert Rodriguez version and a take that Leigh Whannell was developing both before and after he made The Invisible Man.

Would Radio Silence return to the project? “You never know.” they add. “There’s still interest in it, and we’ve had a few conversations about it, but we’re not attached in any official capacity.”

So there you go: the project seems to be dormant again. If and when we do hear more, you can be sure we’ll let you know.

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