Wiseman at helm of NL's 'Escape' plan

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Len Wiseman, director of "Live Free or Die Hard," is in negotiations to helm "Escape From New York," New Line Cinema's remake of the cult John Carpenter movie.

The project was set up at New Line in March with Neal Moritz producing and Gerard Butler attached to star as anti-hero Snake Plissken.

Ken Nolan ("Black Hawk Down") wrote the script, which will combine an origin story for Plissken merged with the story of the 1981 movie. The original film was set in a futuristic 1997, when Manhattan had been turned into a giant maximum-security prison. The U.S. president's plane crashed on the island, and Plissken — incarcerated for robbing a federal reserve bank — was coerced into performing a rescue mission.

The studio is fast-tracking the movie.

Carpenter is executive producing. Sichler and Ron Halpern, senior vp international production and remake development at Canal Plus, will executive produce, as will Original Films production executive Ori Marmur.

Toby Emmerich and Keith Goldberg are overseeing for New Line.

Wiseman — who rose through the Hollywood ranks via positions like props assistant on such movies as "Men in Black" and "Independence Day" — directed "Underworld" and its sequel, "Underworld: Evolution."

He is repped by ICM.
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