'Escape From New York' Movie to be Written by 'Luther' Creator Neil Cross (Exclusive)

Neil Cross Escape from NY Split - H 2015
MGM/Photofest; Tina Norris/REX Shutterstock
Fox is hoping to relaunch 'Escape' the same way it rebooted its hit 'Planet of the Apes' franchise.

Neil Cross, the acclaimed creator of the BBC crime series Luther, has been tapped to pen Escape from New York, 20th Century Fox’s remake of the 1980s cult classic.

Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman are producing via their banner, The Picture Co.

John Carpenter directed and co-wrote, with Nick Castle, the original 1981 movie that was set in a future (then 1997) where Manhattan had been turned into an island-sized maximum security prison. When the president of the United States crashes into the decaying city, an outlaw is coerced into traveling inside to rescue him.

The studio is aiming high with this one, hoping to relaunch the property as it did with its Planet of the Apes movie series, which became a critical and commercial hit.

Carpenter is creatively involved and is exec producing. The rights originally came from Studiocanal. Mike Ireland is overseeing for the studio.

Cross, who beat out a host of writers for the gig, is a novelist and show creator who doesn’t enter the movie colony too often. Among his few forays was Mama, the 2013 horror hit that starred Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and he also worked on Pacific Rim. His Luther is known for its grittiness and character work, which allowed for the ascendancy of star Idris Elba.

He is repped by UTA and Independent Talent Group.