It seems as though New York City is used as the setting for a new movie, TV show, or book every week. And why not? Its landscape, attitude, importance, and population are iconic! Countless romantic comedies, police dramas, and any other realistic stories have featured timeless pieces of New York as background. However, every so often a story comes along that takes The Big Apple and turns it on its head.
Whether these are startling new interpretations of our grand city or cities that are New York City in everything but name, NYC has been reinterpreted in ways that are almost as memorable as the real one. So, courtesy of the lifelong New York attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, here are five of the best fictional versions of our city.
5. Escape from New York – Not every movie predicts a good outcome for The Big Apple in the future. Director John Carpenter’s future-set (technically 1988) thriller Escape from New York sees all of Manhattan turned into a walled-off prison to deal with a 400% increase in crime throughout the U.S. Criminals are thrown in and are never allowed to leave. Inside, gangs, psychotics, and everyone else is left to fend for themselves. Of course, the President of the United States happens to crash land inside, leaving hero Snake Plissken to venture in and rescue him. Probably the last fictional version of NYC you would want to visit.
4. Marvel Comics – It’s almost like the real Big Apple, except you couldn’t go an hour without running into a superhero on patrol or a super villain on a rampage. The iconic NYC landscape is mostly intact, except places like Avengers Tower or The Fantastic Four’s Baxter building pop up here and there. Mostly, it’s a colorful and fun place to be and given the right kind of accident, you may get superpowers. Just watch out when a massive alien invasion or plan for world domination goes into effect, they usually start right here.
3. New New York – The TV show Futurama’s setting in the 31st Century, the ruins of New York have been built over, giving birth to New New York! Spaceships, aliens, and robots are commonplace, and technological wonders fill the city. Countless historical figures are alive as heads in jars, giant pneumatic tubes are the main form of transportation across the city, and everything hovers. Of course, there are also just as many horrors, like mutated monsters, massive global warming, and countless threats from outer space.
2. Gotham City – Take all the dark, dangerous, and gothic aspects that people associate with New York. Now eliminate everything bright and hopeful about the city. Now you have Gotham City, home to Batman and his fellow crimefighters. Not only do gangs control large swaths of the city, but colorfully psychotic criminals regularly enact criminal plans, ranging from calculated heists to anarchic rampages. Fun to read about, not so much to live in.
1. Metropolis – Think of Metropolis, aka The Big Apricot, as the polar opposite of Gotham. Superman’s home is the bright gleaming city of tomorrow, filled with colorful skyscrapers and technological innovation. Sure, there are still countless threats to citizens, but most people can rest assured that Superman will save them. While Superman’s creators originally modeled the city after Toronto, it has been reshaped to reflect NYC in the 75 years since its creation.
Which one of these is your favorite? Or was yours left off the list? Let us know on Facebook!