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Is Len Wiseman Off Escape From New York?
To be replaced by... Brett Ratner?

05 October 2007  |  Written by Empire Empire  |  Source: IESB

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Now here’s the very definition of that old chestnut, ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’. Len Wiseman has left the remake of John Carpenter’s Escape From New York, to be replaced by… Brett Ratner.

Wiseman – who redeemed his previously awful Underworld-soiled CV with Die Hard 4.0 earlier this year – will now concentrate on his adaptation of ultra-violent videogame, Gears Of War, while Ratner will apparently postpone his Hugh Hefner biopic, Playboy, to bring Snake Plissken – now played by Gerard Butler, instead of Kurt Russell – back to the big screen.

And, while we’re slightly intrigued to see what Butler could do with an iconic part like Plissken, we have another suggestion for New Line, the studio behind the film: instead of hiring Ratner, just stop. Walk away. Forget about remaking Escape From New York. Until, one day, a director worthy of following in John Carpenter’s footsteps picks up the script and decides to give it a go. And, with the best will in the world, that director isn’t Brett Ratner.

Now, let’s make one thing clear: Ratner is not, contrary to fanboy speculation, a demonic hack from the lower reaches of Hades. True, X3 was a disappointment, but it made money and given the time and circumstances in which he had to make that picture, he did a pretty good job. He actually has made some decent movies – Family Man springs to mind – while nothing he has done has been truly awful… even when Chris Tucker is involved.

But, with the best will in the world, he’s no John Carpenter, and it could be argued that he’s never even made a movie as good as lesser Carpenter, such as Christine or Starman or even Prince Of Darkness. Ratner’s films exhibit a bouncy, playful, exuberant streak redolent of the man himself, and it’s hard to reconcile that with the dark nihilistic streak that Carpenter possesses in spades, and which Escape From New York needs.

Yet, with the strike looming, Hollywood studios are desperate to get as many projects in front of the cameras as possible, and if that means hastily matching the wrong director with the wrong material, then so be it. As ever, we’ll place a hopeful caveat here and say that the hard R script for the remake might bring out a new side of Ratner, the side of him that was desperately required but which failed to show for his remake of Red Dragon.

We’ll know for sure in 2009, but right now the best we can hope for is a movie that’s better than Escape From LA.

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Your Comments

RE: A Ratner in the kitchen?
BLASPHEMY. The original like so many of John Carpenters films before 1990 was a masterpiece. Gritty and cool. Also Kurt Russell is the man. He was by far the best thing about Death Proof showing that he can still act. Oh and on another note. Bret Ratner could not make a film better than Escape from LA in his life and I hate Escape from L.A.. But not as much as I hate Bret Ratner for making X3. More

Posted by zimo5 at 14:12 on 15 October 2007 | Report This Post

A Ratner in the kitchen?
Calm down dear as Mr Winner might say! I think everybody is getting a little misty eyed over their recollections of the original "escape" movie ......yes, snake is a great creation brought to arrogant life by Mr Russell but THE MOVIE IS NOT THAT GREAT! I'm sorry if i offend but it's pretty boring in parts and sags horribly in at least two places ,some of the script is toe -curlingly cornball and the acting is average at best from the majority of the cast . As far as i'm concerned W More

Posted by noseybonk at 18:11 on 11 October 2007 | Report This Post

RE:
According to Aintitcoolnews, Brett Ratner is the replacement. Nice decision making from Hollywood.... More

Posted by straight2dvd at 20:43 on 07 October 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Stop this madness
How long before Ratner pulls out and they give it to uwe boll?   More

Posted by Porrohman at 13:31 on 07 October 2007 | Report This Post

Stop this madness
Stop re-making great films you hollywood morons! on another note to Empire, stop dissing the Underworld films! they were great fun escapist movies! More

Posted by walrusboy at 06:20 on 07 October 2007 | Report This Post

I want to punch that smug face paris hlton lover More

Posted by alimac at 20:57 on 06 October 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Is Len Wiseman Off Escape From New York?
NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Hollywood must really hate us. I don't like either directors but wiseman would have done a better job, not saying much though now as this will be bland pg 13 crap for sure now. More

Posted by Dooby3000 at 18:01 on 06 October 2007 | Report This Post

???????????????????????????????????????????? I give up. Oh and X3 was not "disappointing" it was a complete turkey! More

Posted by Mr.Screen at 01:07 on 06 October 2007 | Report This Post

RE: NO NO NO NO NO
that settles it.there is no god. More

Posted by swan at 00:39 on 06 October 2007 | Report This Post

NO NO NO NO NO
This is a classic which should't be touched in the first goddamn place and especially not by Brett Fucking Ratner. Yes the man can direct fairly brainless shit. (Rush Hour 1,2 and 3) But for the love all things holy X3 was an abomination. Besides the original was perfect. Sure John Carpenter can't make movies now but he was the fucking man before the 90's kicked in. Just because Rob Zombie can pull it off doen't mean Bret Ratner can (mainly because he's pish. AHHHHHHHHHH Rant over More

Posted by zimo5 at 22:53 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

RE:
Will somebody ever rid us of this Rattner?   I would actually have prefered Wiseman, Die Hard 4.0 was actually qiute good. More

Posted by Deviation at 18:46 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

OH FOR FUCK SAKE!!!! DID NO ONE SEE X3? JESUS WHY DOES THIS MAN KEEP BEING GIVEN DECENT FILMS FOR HIM TOO RUIN! More

Posted by clarkkent at 17:52 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

Remakes
What's with all the remakes these days!!!! - Surely there must be some minds out there with some orginal ideas??!!! If you are to do a remak then why not a film like "Starship Troopers" using the technology availbale nowadays to give the book a film worthy of the name!!! More

Posted by hi5 at 17:12 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

wiseman direction of the action scenes in die hard was ace,the tunnel set piece springs to mind,prehaps with the right producer (carpenter?) to get the dark elements in and the 'fuck you' attitude,it could have been a real crowd pleaser. ratner doesn't do action films,dont dare say rush hours were action.maybe he'll sack gerrad butler for emmm hmmm....chris tucker...... More

Posted by gavoconnor at 17:03 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Is Len Wiseman Off Escape From New York?
ha that really is a dillemma! 2/3 of wisemans have been fucking awful, whereas most of Ratners films are generally frustrating to watch, rush hour 1 being an exception. id say keep wiseman,   die hard 4 was quite entertaining. More

Posted by kumar at 16:18 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

Why do a remake...
...when if asked and given free reign, I bet John Carpenter and Kurt Russell would love to do a new sequel. I for one would love to see what happened to Plissken after he shut down the earths power, does anyone else agree? More

Posted by davidjohnlincoln at 16:18 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

Doesn't Make Bad Films?
Exsqueeze me? Baking powder? Have you seen Rush Hour 3? Also known as the film which ended Jackie Chans career (I love him, but I cannot forgive him for agreeing to say 'I'm half black' No Jackie. Your not.) and putting Chris Tucker in movie folk-lore as the most money paid to a bad actor who does a terrible job...? This will be total shit. After Serenity 2 and Crank 2 news coupled with this and T4: McG I cannot help but smile for the little cult films that are showing up the blockbusters... More

Posted by callumcostello at 15:51 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Ratner just as bad as McG .Gerry will be good as snake though
tis true his face is very punchable, but i think it was equally fox's fault that x3 didnt work as well as the second film. out of interest has anyone ever seen ratners "performance" in the robert downey jr starring "black and white"? its about a group of middle class white kids (frodo be one of them) that are into hip hop culture, and ratner cameos as himself in a scene or two. he talks a bit like tim westwood. More

Posted by adambatman82 at 15:43 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

Ratner just as bad as McG .Gerry will be good as snake though
Ratner ruined the x men only a man like Ratner would kill off a class actor like patrick stewert and get rid of Cyclops when in the comics he moves on and gets another bird he really is as bad as McG.Gerard will be class ok no one will ever top Russel just like no one will ever top Sean as Bond but Ged could do what Craig done for Bond and make it cool again and appropiate for modern tmes More

Posted by alimac at 15:08 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

What's Going On!?
Empire. Why are you blind to the fact that Die Hard 4.0 is one of the most offensive hack-jobs ever and a horrific betrayal of the original - a film you have celebrated as a modern classic since I've been reading your mag? The fact that so many people seem to enjoy Wiseman's crime is the first true sign of the apocalypse. At least Ratner can tell a story and create a character, I'd pick him any day over Wiseman - who should stick to vacant pop promos. Neither are appropriate for Escape but on More

Posted by Drooch at 14:26 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

don't get me wrong, i don't min Bret Rattner films but he is SO wrong for Escape From New York. More

Posted by Hughezy at 14:16 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

I would get someone like David Fincher to direct Escape From New York, now THAT would be fuckin worth watching!!! More

Posted by tallaght24 at 14:05 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

I know you like him...
...but my god, Ratner has the most punchable face alive. More

Posted by pettsy at 14:00 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

What's Going On!?
Empire. Why are you blind to the fact that Die Hard 4.0 is one of the most offensive hack-jobs ever and a horrific betrayal of the original - a film you have celebrated as a modern classic since I've been reading your mag? The fact that so many people seem to enjoy Wiseman's crime is the first true sign of the apocalypse. At least Ratner can tell a story and create a character, I'd pick him any day over Wiseman - who should stick to vacant pop promos. Neither are appropriate for Escape but on More

Posted by Drooch at 13:57 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

RE: This makes a GROWN MAN WEEP
Carpenter already has done it again, it's called Escape From L.A. and it's gonna be a tough one for Ratner to make a movie even worse than this. I'm sorry to be so harsh, but the Carp of late has only made really crappy movies. To his defence though they were bad in a charismatic, b-movie way, while Wiseman's and Ratner's movies were bad in a very bland, forgettable way. Chris Tucker as the Duke. Oh dear. More

Posted by Manfrendshensindshen at 13:57 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

This makes a GROWN MAN WEEP
This is the most worst news ever, at least wiseman wouldve given it a crack, but bratner is so vanilla plain. I cant believe this is happening, maybe they should get carpenter to do it again More

Posted by datty at 13:14 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

Meh...
Is their really any difference between the two, their both decidedly mediocre directors. Escape from New york was Carpenters best movie by a long way and Snake Plissken is such a cool character but Carpenter's no David Fincher himself, so it's really down to whether Gerard Butler can pull of a decent performance as Plissken,...my money would be on yes he can! (as long as he get's some serious accent training)!! More

Posted by lukeyboy at 13:04 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

I think Hollywood's long overdue a cocaine induced heart attack, hopefully one will clain Ratner the fucking fat talentless fuck. Hopefully while he's driving near Wisemans house so he can take out that flashy cunt too. Jesus, I really don't understand how these pricks get work outside music promo's. i really don't. More

Posted by dunkah at 13:02 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

If Ratners directing was any more pedastrian...
...He'd have a zebra crossing tattoed on his arse. More

Posted by MrSib at 12:52 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

Thank christ for that. I fuckin HATE Len Wiseman! More

Posted by tallaght24 at 12:48 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

I bet you one man who will probably join Mr.Ratner in this adaption is: Mr.Chris Tucker maybe even a cameo. Also this will turn out to be a comedy rather than an action film More

Posted by umer_ejaz at 11:57 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

Oh cock. I thought the Escape remake was a bad idea from the beginning, but Ratner is the anti-Carpenter! I wouldn't be happy to hear that Ratner was supposed to direct Lethal Weapon V or another The Mummy sequel, but it would at least be fitting. Yet Ratner and darkness just don't go together at all... please stop this nonsense, Mr. Line (or may I call you just 'New'?)! More

Posted by Manfrendshensindshen at 11:53 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

I thought Red Dragon was an excellent film, and showed a lot potential for Ratner. Could be worse though, John Carpenter could be directing it. More

Posted by UTB at 11:42 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

Brett Ratner hasn't made a good film since.....um......well I liked Rush Hour 1 but the third film was an abomination unto the Lord. More

Posted by Timon at 11:27 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

Go Ratner!
Brett Ratner makes good movies,so stop bashing him Empire! Just a small bit of advice for you Ratner if youre reading this...Dont hire Chris Tucker to play the duke! More

Posted by darth silas at 11:14 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

If I ever met either of them, I'd punchthem in the face... well probably not Wiseman, his wife is hot More

Posted by CameronJames at 10:50 on 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

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