Vulture has dug up news on two long attempted but never launched remakes of classic sci-fi. The first is Escape From New York, the 1981 John Carpenter classic that finds Snake Plissken (Kurt Russel) charged with rescuing the President of the United States from within the lawless walls of the penal island that is dystopian Manhattan. New Line Cinema has been attempting to get the project off the ground for a while now and a host of attached writers and directors have come and gone, but it looks like 21 and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps screenwriter Allan Loeb has cracked the updating code.
Vulture says the breakthrough came with a few inspired alterations on Loeb's part. Apparently he had already nailed Plissken's staple brand of humor (a good thing, since Vulture points out that New Line was contractually obligated to deliver an eye-patch wearing badass), but changing the mission objective from the POTUS to a female senator opened up a few new avenues the studio fell for. Oh, and apparently they can do it on the cheap now as well, so that certainly helps move things onto the crew and casting phase.
Their second scoop concerns the live-action Akira film Warner Brothers and Appian Way have been shaping for years now. The Hughes Brothers, who just gave WB the impressive piece of post-apocalyptic goodness that is The Book of Eli, are currently in talks to direct a two-part Akira adaptation penned by Iron Man co-writers Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby. It seemed the past obstacle has always been that the shooting script must be a complete and faithful encapsulation of what made the original Akira so special, and it looks like the decision to split the films in half as finally made that possible.