To certain members of the Starburst team, watching John Carpenter’s ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK is almost a religious experience. As big fans of Carpenter and of Kurt Russell’s iconic, eye-patch-adorned anti-hero Snake Plissken, even the movie’s opening ‘80s-tastic score is enough to turn us to jelly. Now, remember back to the dark days of last year when an ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK reboot reared its head? Yeah, we really did try to forget that chatter, putting it down to our overworked imaginations, but sadly it was a ‘thing.’ Not just that, this reboot talk had the latest plan being to remake Carpenter’s 1981 film as a trilogy. Luckily all has been fairly quiet on that front over the last 6 months or so, prompting us to think that we could safely watch ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK in the knowledge that we could always call Kurt Russell Snake. Sadly not, faithful readers, for those ‘trilogy’ rumours are back again.
Speaking to Collider, producer Joel Silver said, “I always liked the Snake Plissken character. We figured out a way to do a trilogy of that story. Part of our idea was to see how New York City became this walled prison and how the Snake Plissken character was a hero and how he was no longer looked at as a hero.”
The producer went on, “In the middle of the story would be this movie that we know, about the President’s daughter. Plissken has to go in and get her. And then they did a sequel, ESCAPE FROM L.A., but I would like to find a way to have New York go back to a place that it is today.”
Funnily enough, we at Starburst also “always liked the Snake Plissken character,” which is why we are happy to see him perfectly embodied by Kurt Russell in Carpenter’s two ESCAPE FROM… movies. Not only is Kurt Russell Snake, the movie itself was just a perfect fit for its time. Russell’s Snake, Carpenter’s direction, the brilliant score, the tone-perfect ‘80s anti-authority hero, the SFX of the time, and the story. Everything just came together to create a tale that was perfect for that particular moment in time.
Is it really too much to have Hollywood writers try and come up with innovative new stories rather than focusing their efforts on updating something that was once a success at some point? For fans of Carpenter’s ’81 flick, no good can come of this and it seems merely a matter of time before the good name of Snake Plissken is tarnished.
At the last count, two of the names up for the role of Plissken in any sort of reboot were Tom Hardy and Jason Statham. Hardy is a great actor and Statham is good at what he does but Kurt Russell will always be Snake Plissken to us.
Expect more on this as it develops (which hopefully it won’t).
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