This is due to the magic pen of screenwriter Allan Loeb, who also revived another stagnated '80s property with Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. The studio is thrilled because Loeb "nailed the humor in Plissken without slipping into camp, and he changed Snake's rescue-mission target from a president to a female senator, thereby upping the banter quotient." (Hey, couldn't it have been a female president? Or is that too outlandish even in the future?) New Line is also thrilled because Loeb and his writing predecessor, David Kajganich, "cracked" the special effects / story problem of turning New York City into a prison. As in the original, Manhattan is a walled off prison, but now it's because "a crude radioactive dirty bomb" was detonated on the outskirts. It's also being privately run by a "KBR-like security company" instead of the government. These minor changes make it "an expose of an ecosystem" rather than "a disaster movie." I'm confused, too.
New Line is now on the hunt for a director and a Snake Plissken. Will Gerard Butler still be interested in donning the eyepatch, or did Russell's criticism scare him off? Will they hit up Sam Worthington instead? Or just skip the older gentlemen in favor of Taylor Lautner?