Another classic film up for the reboot treatment is John Carpenter’s dark, campy futuristic thriller Escape From New York. Carpenter’s work has been ripe for remakes over the past decade and for better or worse all of his classic titles have already been reworked in one way or another. Now we are dipping down into Carpenter’s less serious works apparently starting with Escape From New York. Written by Neil Cross, best known for the television series Luther, the script is currently being overseen by John Carpenter himself as an executive producer and has Robert Rodriguez set to direct.
Who can play Snake?
Rodriguez, as a self proclaimed long-time Carpenter influenced director, means great things for fans of the original but the key to this film being a success is definitely the right casting in Kurt Russell’s infamous role, Snake Plissken. Here are a few actors that I think could not only make this film an enjoyable and worthy remake but also allow for possible franchise possibilities, in no particular order:
Oscar Isaac is on an upward trajectory, he has been consistently involved in bigger and bigger projects and though it may be a small step back to be involved in a cult film remake I think he could take on the character. Not to mention that the being the new Snake Plissken would more than solidify him as a genre favorite.
Key Roles: Drive, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, X-Men: Apocalypse, Ex Machina
Tom Hardy has proven himself over and over as a cinematic tough guy. This does not at all, however, discredit his acting ability. He is clearly a favorite to some well respected, stylistic directors and that sounds like a great Snake Plissken candidate. With his new role as Max Rockatansky he has not only successfully rebooted a classic dystopian franchise but has also created a solid platform for continued Mad Max film. I would gladly see the same happen for Escape From New York.
Key Roles: Bronson, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception
Much like Tom Hardy, Christopher Nolan took quite the shine to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, casting both actors in back to back films: Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. Although I think JGL has alway been a versatile actor, I believe that the 2012 three-punch combo of the Nolan films along with by Rian Johnson’s Looper propelled him to the ranks of a viable blockbuster action star. Aside from that, personally, I would just love to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt bring his charisma and style to the character.
Key Roles: Looper, Don Jon, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception
Of my choices, Karl Urban is the one I am least familiar with. The Key Roles below are the only films I’ve seen him in but with those two roles (Judge Dredd and Bones) he has made a big impression on me. In both roles I find it quite fun to watch his abrasive, hard-edged attitude, which to me is the one of the defining characteristics of Kurt Russell’s portrayal of Snake Plissken.
Key Roles: Dredd, Star Trek Series
BONUS: Idris Elba as The Duke of New York
Played by Isaac Hayes in original film, The Duke was not a particularly memorable antagonist in the film but I would like to see the character reprised in the remake. Given the connection to Luther does open up the possibility for an Idris Elba in this film as The Duke. I would even be happy to see Elba play Snake or really anyone else in this film!
Key Roles: Star Trek Beyond, Thor Series, Pacific Rim, The Jungle Book