Actor Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken in John Carpenter’s Escape From New York (1981).
Deadline has recently reported that Twentieth Century Fox just won the rights to writer/director John Carpenter‘s 1981 action-flick Escape From New York. The film starred Kurt Russell (The Thing, Death Proof) as contracted-convict Snake Plissken, who is given the task of rescuing the US President (British actor Donald Pleasance) from futuristic New York City, after Air Force One crashes there and the criminals/inmates that now inhabit the city attempt to take him hostage. Lee Van Cleef (A Fistful of Dollars, The Good The Bad and the Ugly) also starred in the original picture. Now a remake of the cult classic is in the works at the studio with John Carpenter, himself, getting involved as executive producer, but no news has been released as to who will star in the film and a release date is still out of the question, but we’ll keep you posted.
If you are a fan of the original Halloween series from writer/director John Carpenter, this should be some exciting news. The entire series, beginning with the original in 1978 that featured Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence, and ending with the most recent reboot sequel from director Rob Zombie, will be available as part of a Blu-Ray box set this September. The set features all of the films in a re-mastered format and is composite of 15 discs that include bonus materials with never-before-seen interviews and documentary footage, as well as the infamous Producer’s Cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. Curse was the sixth film in the series and the last to star veteran actor Donald Pleasence in the role of Dr. Sam Loomis. Although Pleasence completed the film, many of his scenes ended up being replaced by last-minute re-shoots in the editing room, and much to the disappointment from the cast and crew, director Joe Chappelle’s final product was almost completely different from the original script that Pleasence agreed to make. The alternate (original) version of the film was never released to the public and has only been available over the years via online bootlegs and poor quality video streaming, even though many fans who have come across it consider it to be the superior version to its theatrical counterpart. But now, despite the near 20-year wait that fans have endured, the Producer’s Cut will finally be available in proper format. So fans, rejoice! You can expect to find the box set in stores September 23rd.
Director Kevin Smith has been doing a fairly good job of staying on the low recently. The director had recently announced plans to retire from filmmaking following his next project, Clerks 3, which is scheduled to begin filming this May. Following Clerks 3, however, the director will be taking his filmmaking talents in a new direction. Clerks 3 will (for now) be his last project with his View Askew characters, namely Jay and Silent Bob, and Dante and Randall, and the director is already looking ahead to plan his next project, a film called Helena Handbag. Smith is currently nearing completion on his most recent film, Tusk, which was inspired by a SModcast episode titled The Walrus and The Carpenter and concerned a tenant receiving free rent in exchange for dressing up as a Walrus to keep his landlord company. Strange, I know, and it’s also a bit surprising to see Smith coming out with a horror movie, but Helena Handbag will be an endeavor back into the realm of comedy.
The plot, according to Smith, involves humanity joining forces with hell to prevent mankind’s extinction by a “Rapturing giant Jesus.” I’m sure, after reading that, that you automatically have mixed feelings about it, but don’t worry, our director is not so ignorant that he thinks this will be an easy film to make. Smith has stated that he knows there’s a chance the film won’t even get picked up at all because it is sure to cause some controversies with religious fanatics and organizations, but we’ll see what happens. Maybe he can work it out so that the humor will be good enough to see passed the religious implications behind the plot! Tusk is due out sometime later this year, so keep an eye out for a movie trailer; with production wrapping up, they’re sure to release one soon.