'Escape' plan for New Line

New Line has won the bidding war for a remake of “Escape From New York,” with “300” star Gerard Butler attached and Neal Moritz producing through his Original Films banner.

Minimajor closed the deal Thursday, three days after CAA began shopping the package to studios in the wake of Butler’s emergence as a rising star, thanks to last weekend’s boffo launch of “300” (Daily Variety, March 13).

“Black Hawk Down” scribe Ken Nolan is attached to pen the script. Exec producers include Original’s Ori Marmur; Ron Halpern and Frederic Sichler of Canal Plus, which held the remake rights; and John Carpenter, who directed the original 1981 “Escape From New York.”

Butler would portray Snake Plissken, the convict and war hero who’s sent into a futuristic New York City — which has been turned into a giant maximum security prison — to rescue the president of the U.S. after his plane is knocked down by terrorists. The original was set in 1998.

Kurt Russell played Plissken in the original pic and again in Carpenter’s 1996 sequel “Escape From Los Angeles.”

Moritz is a producer on “Click,” “The Fast and the Furious,” “Evan Almighty,” “I Am Legend” and “Maid of Honor,” which is due to go into production next month.

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