Butler To "Escape" After "300"
Category: 300 News | Posted by: maryp
Article Date: March 20, 2007 | Publication: MSN Movies Hotlist | Author: Unknown
Gerard Butler's character King Leonidas may have lost his epic battle in the mega-hit "300," but the actor is enjoying the spoils. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Butler is set to star as the iconic hero, Snake Plissken, in a remake of John Carpenter's B-movie classic "Escape From New York," for New Line Cinema. The studio got the rights to the prepackaged project during an aggressive bidding war after "300" stunned Hollywood with its $70-million opening two weekends ago.
"The Fast and the Furious" producer Neal Moritz is behind the remake, which will combine an original story for Plissken along with the story from Carpenter's original 1981 movie. That surprise hit was set in a dark and futuristic 1997, where the island of Manhattan had been turned into a gigantic maximum-security prison. After the U.S. president's plane crashes in the middle of the apocalyptic mess, the incarcerated Plissken is coerced by the government to attempt a rescue mission, but he only has 22 hours to complete the task before micro-explosives injected into his bloodstream go off, killing him. The first "Escape" transformed Kurt Russell into an adult star after being pigeonholed as a kid actor in Walt Disney movies; it also began a long collaboration with Carpenter, as the duo teamed up on the thrillers "The Thing" and "Big Trouble in Little China" (a wonderful gem of a flick). They tried to rekindle the magic in 1996's "Escape from L.A.," but Carpenter's love of cheap special effects and bad production design doomed it with a more fickle audience. Nonetheless, the Plissken character has a fan base and has lived on in DVD and comic books. In an interesting twist, Russell will go back to his Carpenter roots when he stars in Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof," part of next month's double-feature release, "Grindhouse."
As for new "superstar" Butler, although he's already wrapped the romantic drama "P.S., I Love You" opposite Hilary Swank, the "Escape" deal shows he's ready to mine his new status as an action hero. Now, whether a "300"-sized audience will show up if the Scot doesn't show off those chiseled abs again is another question.