Escape Plan (film)

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Escape Plan
Two large men standing at the edge of a lift shaft looking down
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMikael Håfström
Screenplay byMiles Chapman
Arnell Jesko
Story byMiles Chapman
Produced by
CinematographyBrendan Galvin
Edited byElliot Greenberg
Music byAlex Heffes
Summit Entertainment
Atmosphere Entertainment
Emmett/Furla Films
Envision Entertainment
Boies/Schiller Film Group
Distributed byLionsgate[1]
Release dates
  • July 18, 2013 (2013-07-18) (San Diego Comic-Con)
  • October 18, 2013 (2013-10-18) (United States)
Running time
115 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$54–70 million[3][4]
Box office$137.3 million[1]

Escape Plan is a 2013 American prison action thriller film starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and co-starring Jim Caviezel, 50 Cent, Vinnie Jones, Vincent D'Onofrio and Amy Ryan.[5] It was directed by Swedish filmmaker Mikael Håfström, and written by Miles Chapman and Jason Keller (under the anagram pen-name 'Arnell Jesko').[6] The first film to pair up Stallone and Schwarzenegger as co-leads,[7] it follows Stallone's character Ray Breslin, a lawyer turned prison security tester who is incarcerated in the world's most secret and secure prison, and recruits fellow inmate Emil Rottmayer, portrayed by Schwarzenegger, to stage a breakout. The film is the first installment of the Escape Plan film series.

The film was released in the United States on October 18, 2013, received mixed reviews and grossed $137 million worldwide against a $54 million budget.


Former prosecutor Ray Breslin is the founder and co-owner of Breslin-Clark, a security firm specializing in testing the security measures of supermax prisons. Posing as an inmate to study facilities from within and exploit their weaknesses to escape, Breslin is driven by the murders of his wife and child by an escaped convict he had successfully prosecuted, and has garnered a reputation as the man who can escape any prison.

Breslin and his business partner, Lester Clark, receive a multimillion-dollar deal from CIA operative Jessica Miller to test a new, top secret prison for disappeared persons on the condition that Ray and his team cannot know the prison's true location. Although this violates his principles, Breslin agrees, allowing himself to be captured under the identity of a terrorist-for-hire. The plan goes awry when his captors remove a tracking microchip he had implanted in his arm and drug him, preventing his colleagues from knowing where he has been taken.

Breslin wakes up inside the prison and realizes that the warden, Willard Hobbes, is not the same warden who was supposed to release him in an emergency. He befriends another inmate, Emil Rottmayer, who claims to be a security expert for Victor Mannheim, a faceless Robin Hood-type figure who steals from the wealthy.

Staging an escape attempt, Breslin discovers he is aboard a massive prison ship somewhere in the middle of an ocean. Hobbes reveals to Breslin that he is aware of his true identity and will ensure Breslin spends the rest of his life in the prison. Breslin offers Hobbes information on Mannheim in exchange for his release, to which Hobbes agrees. While Breslin feeds Hobbes false information about Mannheim, his colleagues, Abigail Ross and Hush, grow suspicious of Clark when Breslin's paycheck for the job is frozen. Hush discovers that the prison, codenamed "The Tomb," is owned by a for-profit organization linked to a notorious private security contractor. Clark is also revealed to be in contact with Hobbes about Breslin's imprisonment.

With Javed‘s help, Breslin and Rottmayer deduce they are somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean near Morocco. In a second escape attempt, Breslin kills Drake when he tries to stop them, but Javed is gunned down by Hobbes and his men. A helicopter sent by Mannheim engages in a gunfight with the guards. Rottmayer boards the helicopter while Breslin is flushed to the bottom of the ship. Reaching the helicopter as Hobbes fires at him, Breslin shoots several leaking oil barrels, killing Hobbes in the explosion.

The helicopter lands on a Moroccan beach, where Rottmayer reveals he is actually Mannheim and "Jessica Miller" is in fact his daughter, who actually hired Breslin to mastermind her father's escape. Clark is locked in a shipping container and sent off to an unknown location.


  • Sylvester Stallone as Ray Breslin / Anthony Portos, a former prosecutor, businessman and skilled structural engineer who is best known for being the world's best escape artist.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger as Emil Rottmayer / Victor X. Mannheim, an inmate who befriends Ray.
  • Jim Caviezel as Warden Willard Hobbes, the malicious owner of the Tomb prison facility.
  • Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson as "Hush", Ray's best friend who is working as his own technical expert.
  • Sam Neill as Dr. Kyrie, the doctor of the Tomb prison facility.
  • Vinnie Jones as Drake, Hobbes' sadistic and violent personal assistant and bodyguard as well as the leader of the Tomb prison facility's security array.
  • Faran Tahir as Javed Afridi, a Muslim criminal and an inmate of the Tomb who allies with Breslin and Mannheim.
  • Vincent D'Onofrio as Lester Clark, Ray's business partner who arranges the various escape jobs, later revealed to have betrayed Ray all along.
  • Amy Ryan as Abigail Ross, a senior member of Breslin-Clark and another friend of Ray.
  • Graham Beckel as Brims
  • Matt Gerald as Roag
  • Caitriona Balfe as Jessica Miller, a CIA operative who hires Breslin. She is later revealed to be Mannheim's daughter who helped her father and Breslin.
  • Lydia Hull as Jules, a receptionist


The spec script was initially called The Tomb. When Summit first purchased the script, Jeff Wadlow was attached to direct and Jason Keller was hired to do rewrites.[8]

Early reports in 2010 speculated that Bruce Willis was cast as Ray Breslin and Antoine Fuqua was attached to direct.[9][10][11] It was revealed by producer Mark Canton on The Matthew Aaron Show that Jim Caviezel had signed on to the film, playing the prison warden Hobbes.[12]

British actor Vinnie Jones signed on to co-star as Drake, the ruthless prison guard.[13]

Variety and other media in the news stated that Amy Ryan, Vincent D'Onofrio, and 50 Cent had joined the cast of Escape Plan.[14][15] It was confirmed in mid-April that 50 Cent would play the computer expert who was once incarcerated for cyber crimes helping Breslin's character escape, D'Onofrio would play the deputy director of the high-tech prison, and Ryan would play Stallone's business partner and his potential love interest.[16]

In an interview with the British newspaper The Sun, Vinnie Jones stated that the film was to shoot April 16 to June 23 in New Orleans.[17] Shooting for Escape Plan was also confirmed to take place in Louisiana in the spring of 2012. In August 2012, at The Expendables 2 conference, Arnold Schwarzenegger commented on the film and stated that filming had finished.[18] The engine room fight scene between Breslin and Drake was filmed onboard the bulk carrier RICAN, the giveaway is IMO NO 7621932 seen in several scenes.



On April 9, 2013, it was officially announced that the film had been pushed back to a September 13, 2013 release and the film's title had been changed from The Tomb to Escape Plan.[19] On July 18, 2013, a fan screening was held at the Reading Cinemas Gaslamp 15 at San Diego Comic-Con, which Stallone and Schwarzenegger attended.[20] The film was theatrically released in the United States on October 18, 2013.


Box office[edit]

The film underperformed at the U.S. box office, debuting at number four on the box office chart with $9.89 million from 2,883 theaters and ultimately grossing only $25.1 million domestically. However, Escape Plan was an international box-office success, debuting at first place in several Asian and European markets, with the total international gross more than doubling its $50 million budget at $112.2 million, totaling up to a worldwide gross of $137.3 million.[1]

Critical response[edit]

Escape Plan was met with mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 50%, based on reviews from 107 critics, with an average score of 5.4/10. The site's critical consensus states: "As much fun as it is to see Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger team up onscreen, Escape Plan fails to offer much more than a pale imitation of 1980s popcorn thrills."[21] Metacritic gives the film a score of 49 out of 100, based on 33 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[22] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade "B+".[23]

Tom Huddleston of Time Out London gave the film two out of five stars, commenting that the film "would have made a perfect vehicle for, say, a Chuck Norris or even a Jean-Claude Van Damme. But these two redoubtable, enormously watchable old-school heroes deserve better."[24] Ben Rawson-Jones of Digital Spy gave the film four out of five stars, commenting that it "defies those who wrote off the abilities of its stars to cut the muscular mustard in today's youth-orientated cultural climate. These supposedly old dogs have plenty of life—but their effectiveness relies on the foundation of a smart script that plays to their strengths and the audience's perception of their star personas."[25] Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times said in his review: "Mikael Håfstrom, the director, pushes the suspense buttons efficiently, and the plot twists are disguised well enough for the not-very-demanding crowd this film will draw. The scenes with Mr. Stallone and Mr. Schwarzenegger are a little disappointing — it's their first pairing as top-billed co-stars, yet the script never gives them the kind of memorable exchange that makes fans howl with delight. But all in all, Escape Plan does what it sets out to do."[26]


In February 2017, it was announced that a sequel was then in development with Stallone confirmed to reprise his role as Ray Breslin. In the same report it was revealed that Steven C. Miller would direct the film, with Miles Chapman returning as screenwriter.[27] Dave Bautista, 50 Cent, and Jaime King were cast in the film.[28] In March 2017, the official title was announced as Escape Plan 2: Hades. The film was released direct-to-video on June 29, 2018.

In April 2017, a third film entered the early stages of development with Stallone again signed on to reprise his role as Ray Breslin.[29] The film, Escape Plan: The Extractors,[30] was released direct-to-video on July 2, 2019.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Escape Plan". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  2. ^ "Escape Plan (15)". E1 Films. British Board of Film Classification. October 1, 2013. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  3. ^ 2013 Feature Film Study (PDF) (Report). FilmL.A. Inc. p. 11. Retrieved January 2, 2017 – via The Hollywood Reporter.
  4. ^ "Escape Plan". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  5. ^ Barnes, Henry (February 9, 2012). "Schwarzenegger and Stallone join forces for The Tomb". The Guardian. London.
  6. ^ Gorber, Jason (October 18, 2013). "Review: Escape Plan Is Escapist Fun". Twitch Film. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  7. ^ Lipp, Chaz (October 18, 2013). "Movie Review: Escape Plan". Cinema Lowdown.
  8. ^ Zeitchik, Steven (March 28, 2008). "Summit entering 'Tomb'". Variety. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (May 27, 2010). "Bruce Willis Digging 'The Tomb' At Summit Entertainment". Deadline. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  10. ^ Landy, Ben (May 27, 2010). "Bruce Willis To Star In 'The Tomb'". Hollywood.
  11. ^ Miller, Ross. "Bruce Willis In Talks For Prison Escape Drama 'The Tomb'". Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  12. ^ White, James (February 21, 2012). "Jim Caviezel Enters The Tomb". Empire Magazine Online.
  13. ^ "Vinnie Jones Confirmed For The Tomb". Expendables Premiere. March 23, 2012. Archived from the original on July 31, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  14. ^ Sneider, Jeff; Kroll, Justin (April 4, 2012). "D'Onofrio, 50 Cent enter 'The Tomb': Amy Ryan, Vinnie Jones also join Summit actioner". Variety.
  15. ^ Chitwood, Adam (April 4, 2012). "Amy Ryan, Vincent D'Onofrio, Vinnie Jones and 50 Cent Join The Tomb". Archived from the original on January 5, 2020. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  16. ^ Chitwood, Adam (April 9, 2012). "50 Cent Joins Stallone, Schwarzenegger in 'The Tomb'". EURweb. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  17. ^ kauri (February 17, 2012). "Stallone and Schwarzenegger headed to New Orleans for 'The Tomb'". Archived from the original on November 29, 2019. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  18. ^ "Schwarzenegger joins Stallone in 'The Tomb'". Baton Rouge, LA: The Advocate. Associated Press. May 8, 2012. Archived from the original on July 15, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  19. ^ "The Tomb is Now The Escape Plan". April 10, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  20. ^ Ford, Rebecca (July 9, 2013). "Comic-Con: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger to Appear at 'Escape Plan' Screening". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  21. ^ Escape Plan at Rotten Tomatoes
  22. ^ Escape Plan at Metacritic Edit this at Wikidata
  23. ^ "Cinemascore :: Movie Title Search". Archived from the original on December 20, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  24. ^ Huddleston, Tom (October 15, 2013). "Escape Plan". Time Out London. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  25. ^ Rawson-Jones, Ben (October 14, 2013). "'Escape Plan' review: 'Arnie and Sly rescue geriaction genre'". Digital Spy. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  26. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (October 18, 2013). "Behind Bars, Where Anything Goes - Schwarzenegger and Stallone Star in Escape Plan". The New York Times. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  27. ^ "Escape Plan 2 Director Confirmed as Steven C. Miller". February 8, 2017.
  28. ^ Pedersen, Erik (March 10, 2017). "Jaime King & Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson Break Into 'Escape Plan 2'". Deadline. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  29. ^ "Escape Plan 3 Set with Sylvester Stallone to Return". April 12, 2017.
  30. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (September 20, 2017). "'Escape Plan 3': Dave Bautista, Max Zhang & More Join Sylvester Stallone For Sequel — UPDATE".

External links[edit]