March 29, 2012

Xavier Gens Should Direct The Escape From New York Remake

New Line Cinema has been slowly developing a remake of John Carpenter's cult favorite Escape From New York. Producer Neal H. Mortiz (Total Recall) got a hold of the project and screenwriter Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down) took a shot at the script. Scottish actor Gerard Bulter was attached for Snake Plissken when director Len Wiseman (Total Recall, Die Hard 4) was going to make the film. Wiseman dropped out to make Total Recall instead and it lead to Butler's exit as well. Jonathan Mostow (U-571) came on to also work on the script with some intention to direct. That also didn't pan out so the studio looked to newcomer Breck Eisner and he's the last name attached to the remake. Jeremy Renner had been rumored for Snake but he would later deny his involvement.

While Len Wiseman could have made a fun action film I doubt the quality would have been there. I recently watched The Divide from French director Xavier Gens (Frontier(s)) which is a mix of genres that includes psychological thriller, science fiction and post-apocalyptic horror. The film isn't breaking new ground as it takes key elements from projects like The Walking Dead and Screamers. That being said it ended up a great little low-budget genre flick. There are even some moments it felt like an John Carpenter film, I assume it was also taking cues from his films as well.

If New Line wants a visionary director who can work with a lower budget then I believe that Gens should be given a shot. Breck Esiner's films Sahara and The Crazies didn't exactly set the world on fire. As a fan I don't have confidence in his limited vision. I feel the only reason he's being looked at is because he'll do it on the cheap. Xavier would be an inspired choice compared to Mostow, Eisner and Brett Ratner.

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