Will Escape From New York: SE be modified to remove WTC?

Jeremy Anderson

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I'm really looking forward to the SE of Escape From New York, but was wondering... With the recent flood of digitally removing the World Trade Center towers from movies, will this title be affected?
Maybe I'm just being an alarmist, but I'm hoping someone can verify that the movie will remain as it is.
 

Seth Paxton

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Wells over at Reel.com was discussing the removal of the towers from A.I. with the understanding/assumption that they now wouldn't be there in the future.
I don't think that will happen and I have heard nothing to suggest that it really will.
However, it becomes a bit of a moot point for Escape from NY doesn't it. As I recall, the film is set around 1999 or 2001, or no later than that. So if they wanted to go back and digitally alter it so that things were accurate, they'd have to go back and change the part where Manhattan is turned into a island prison...which is the whole movie of course.

Kinda disturbing regarding the time frame in which it takes place and the whole hijacker flying the plane into one of NY's skyscrapers, isn't it?
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Why?
They're talking about rebuilding them (might take 10 years).
It (they) might look different than the old WTC. So AI might get a cgi makeover, but not until we see what the new building(s) look like.
So long as Guliani lives there, it'll never be a prison, so EFNY can be sold as pure fantasy, and should have the WTC intact, and unremoved.

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AaronMK

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Which movies have been altered or are going to be altered?
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It takes place in 1997.
A whole suspense scene (the landing on the WTC) would have to be excised, creating a continuity gap. Otherwise, they'd have to loop the dialogue in order to call it something else, and digitally alter the facade, or something like that.
I don't really see it as feasible. I think it is far more likely that the upcoming SE will be scrapped or pushed onto the backburner at MGM.
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Michael Reuben

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The Manhattan geography in Escape from New York is so messed up already that there'd be little point in altering anything.
Don't get me wrong: I love the film. But it was obviously made by people who'd spent very little time here. (I remember a Carpenter interview around the time of the film's release, in which he said he'd been here once or twice and the thing felt like a prison already -- he felt closed in by the tall buildings.)
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If I remember well from the Laserdisc's commentary track, EFNY was actually filmed in downtown St-Paul, Minnesota. A huge chunck of the downtown core burnt down not that long before the movie was made. At the time, it was the perfect setting for what New York City would look like if it were a prison. Even the tail of the airplane was from a real accident!
It's far from perfect, but then you can't expect miracles from what is essentially a budget picture.
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Don't get me wrong: I love the film. But it was obviously made by people who'd spent very little time here.
I think every director takes artistic license when it comes to geography, but that doesn't make the movie less worthwhile. Just about every Chicagoan could point out geographic inconsistincies in The Blues Brothers. But we still love it! And to the non-Chicagoans out there, the end of the Upper Wacker Drive extension is not at a higher elevation than the John Hancock Center.

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If they were to remove the twin towers form Escape from New York, how would Snake get into the prison? Dock a dirigible at the Empire State Building?
Doubtful that they could remove the towers as they were integral to the plot.
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Michael Reuben

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I think every director takes artistic license when it comes to geography, but that doesn't make the movie less worthwhile.
Of course, and I have no problem with that. (And being from Chicago originally, I can appreciate the Blues Brothers references.) But liberties should be taken for a purpose. When Terry Gilliam used the castle on the Upper East Side in The Fisher King, he reversed the flow of traffic on Madison Avenue because it made more sense for the shot -- no problem. When Barry Sonnenfeld had Will Smith chase an alien from the overpass below Grand Central Station to the Guggenheim Museum more than 50 blocks north in just a few seconds, it was because those were the two locations that worked best for the scenes.
OTOH, when Carpenter changes the 59th Street Bridge to the "69th Street Bridge", it isn't artistic license -- it's just sloppy. There are lots of similar examples, but I don't see any point in cataloguing them. I like the film. My only point was that the New York portrayed in Escape is a made-up landscape to begin with.
M.
 

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You know, I was watching a bit of Die Hard 3 (awesome in DTS by the way) and was wondering the same thing. There is a slight shot of the towers and what it really meant to me was nothing more than a reminder of what happened. I guess because I wasn't personally affected (i.e. no one in my family was there, but I was definately emotionally affected [just so ya know I'm not a cold-hearted bastard]), but I guess it might mean more to others. I think the taking out of the towers serves no purpose other than to help people to forget, when in reality they should be left in movies as a reminder of what we had, what we lost, and what we need to do. I say leave 'em in. Taking them out, even in releases like Escape From New York, will only (in the long run) ruin the movie from a "I remember that the tower's were in that" standpoint. Let us not forget the significance and awe of the Twin Towers.
Also, I think it's going a little too far by taking them out of a movie: it's only a movie.
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Parts were also filmed around St. Louis, in particular on the old Chain Of Rocks bridge (Rt. 66) across the Mississippi north of town.
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I was going to say what Brad did. So I won't repeat. Just add:
I think a lot of people do want to forget. But erasing all references to the towers in movies is a short sighted 'solution.'
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OTOH, when Carpenter changes the 59th Street Bridge to the "69th Street Bridge", it isn't artistic license -- it's just sloppy.
There are lots of examples of things like this in movies - where they change things only for the purpose of making sure it's not a real place. Take The Fugitive for example. Near the end, Harrison Ford gets off the El at "Balbo" station despite the Clark/Lake sign being clearly visible in the background. Needless to say, although there is a Balbo street in Chicago, there isn't a Balbo station.
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There are lots of examples of things like this in movies - where they change things only for the purpose of making sure it's not a real place.
True, but in Escape they go out of their way to name real places (e.g., Liberty Island the WTC, Grand Central, Broadway, the Bowery, Central Park). That's because the specific location is essential to the story, which is not the case in The Fugitive.
M.
 

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Since there is an airplane crash in EFNY, they should take that out too. This way, it will just start with Snake on the ground and hunting for...something in...some town. Hell, call it "Escape from St. Paul" and be done with it.
This whole "edit the WTC out of everything" trend (is it a trend or just rumor?) is silly. Do we throw out all the pictures of our loved ones when they die and act like they were never there? Silly silly silly..if they mess up EFNY, forget buying it...which is too bad, because maybe he will do another informal commentary with Kurt Russel like Big Trouble...
Phil
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Michael Reuben

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Calm yourself, Phil. So far, all the speculation about altering existing films has been confined to internet rumors. I haven't seen one word from any official source confirming that an existing film will be altered. The issue has been confined to films being released after 9/11/01.
M.
 

Michael Reuben

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Well, it appears I may have to eat crow on this one. DVDFile has posted a report, based on an upcoming issue of Fangoria, that MGM is reediting Escape without Carpenter's consent to eliminate the airplane striking the building (which wasn't even the WTC).
To my knowledge, this is the first reported instance of an older film being modified. If the report turns out to be true, I think MGM will lose a lot of sales for this disc (including to me).
http://dvdfile.com/software/dvd-vide....html#10162001
M.
[Edited last by Michael Reuben on October 16, 2001 at 03:54 PM]
 

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Anyone want to guess what fraction of questions at the next MGM chat will be about the subject of reedited films? I know that although I don't care about this film in particular, I find this to be an awful prospect, and I'm very sorry for those of you that do like this film. Shame on MGM.
 

Michael Reuben

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Ahh, the internet, home of all rumors.
MGM contacted Ron Epstein to officially deny that they're modifying Escape from New York in any way.
http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uub/...ML/031874.html
I'm gonna quit reading DVDFile. Lately they've got more bad information than good.
M.
[Edited last by Michael Reuben on October 16, 2001 at 10:38 PM]
 

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