13 March 2007

"I Heard You Were Dead"...and Scottish?

Sheesh--yet another remake of a John Carpenter classic is on the way--this time, it's his 1981 s.f. actioner "Escape From New York" (which was actually shot in St. Louis and in Carpenter's garage at his home in L.A.), which is a great film I can pretty much watch again and again, any time, any place, dubbed into any language (and will no doubt continue to purchase in every home video format known and as-yet-unpredicted...).

It's currently only in the first-draft stage, but already the casting rumour mill has current "300" star Gerard Butler pegged to take over to fill Kurt Russell's combat pants and pleather as anti-hero Snake Plissken.

Butler, as you may already know, also strapped on the chainmail to play "Beowulf" in Sturla Gunnersson's largely-ignored "Beowulf And Grendel", for which yours truly created storyboards, and thus will never stop plugging. So I can't say I think he's a bad choice for the role--he's got charm and can deliver a witty line and can kick major-league ass--real, CG, or otherwise--with the aplomb of Willis, Damon, and Bale, etc. While I regard the entries into Carpenter's filmography as sacred text, a re-imagining of the iconoclastic auteur's now-dated, but still impressive, nihilistic vision could make for an exciting and satiric futuristic fantasy in the right hands, esp. post-Gulliani and post-9/11. Too bad the "I Am Legend" adaptation currently shooting with Will Smith has already envisioned Manhattan island as an urban wasteland.

Obviously, no one cares what Carpenter's fans think, but will Butler's mob of militant and obsessive lonely hearts stand for one of his baby blues covered by an eyepatch? Read Variety's report here, which unfortunately doesn't answer the latter question...