‘Escape from New York’ Remake Actor Shortlist Includes Charlie Hunnam?

Published 8 months ago by

1981 Escape from New York poster art Escape from New York Remake Actor Shortlist Includes Charlie Hunnam?

A remake of John Carpenter’s 1981 cult classic sci-fi action film, Escape from New York, has been in the works for many years. However, the film has been stuck in early development with different directors signing on to helm the movie, then backing out, while many actors were rumored to revive the role of Snake Plissken (originally portrayed by Kurt Russell), including Timothy Olyphant (Justified), Jeremy Renner (The Avengers: Age of Ultron), Jason Statham (The Expendables 3), and Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road). Additionally, reports on the premise of the film have varied from a straight remake to a prequel that would reboot the series.

In terms of a prequel, and specifically how New York City becomes the dystopian supermax prison seen in the original flick, Joel Silver, who will produce the new Escape from New York with StudioCanal and Silver Pictures, explained that they were inspired by the video game Batman: Arkham City. However, little about the upcoming Escape from New York remake has been learned in the months since Silver’s comments, until a recent report revealed a new shortlist of actors to revive Snake Plissken as well as some insight into the reboot’s script.

STARLOG is reporting that a source close to the production of Escape from New York has revealed three actors that Silver Pictures have on their shortlist: Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim), Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead), and Dan Stevens (The Guest). While none of the three have read for the role, Hunnam is apparently the top choice now that Sons of Anarchy is finished. However, his commitment to Pacific Rim 2 (and possibly also King Arthur) may make him unavailable to take the role.

Escape From New York Charlie Hunnam Jon Bernthal Dan Stevens Escape from New York Remake Actor Shortlist Includes Charlie Hunnam?

Charlie Hunnam, Jon Bernthal, and Dan Stevens

Also according to STARLOG’s source, Escape from New York will follow a similar plotline to that of the original: the U.S. president crash-lands in Manhattan, a maximum security prison, and is captured by prisoners; ex-soldier and convicted bank robber, Plissken, is sent in to rescue the president. However, the remake will be more team-based as Plissken recruits prisoners to help him in exchange for passage off the island.

Read the breakdown of Plissken’s team:

“Plissken’s team consists of Mina, a warzone journalist framed for murder and living in the shadows of New York as a scavenger; Cabbie, a schizophrenic travel guide who serves as comic relief; Gareth, the last surviving member of the President’s security detail who harbors a dangerous secret; and The Brain, Plissken’s former partner-in-crime who left him to die after a botched robbery.”

According to the source, Escape from New York will have a “dark tone” and will be “less tech-based” despite the futuristic dystopian setting. It will be “more of a gun-and-run thriller.” In terms of directors, the source didn’t reveal any names but said a “definitive answer” would be given before year’s end.

Escape From New York Reboot Prequel Escape from New York Remake Actor Shortlist Includes Charlie Hunnam?

This report should be taken with a serious grain of salt, but it is the most insight into the Escape from New York reboot fans have been given since the film was announced years ago. Whether this news is good or bad depends on the perspective.

While straight remakes of movies that don’t offer enough new elements to entertain audiences new and old tend to underperform at the box office, it appears, from this report, that Escape from New York is attempting to put a new spin on the original premise.

However, team films – as we’ve seen especially this month – can either do very well (Guardians of the Galaxy) or very poorly (The Expendables 3). At this point, it’s too early to tell whether Escape from New York will offer a fun experience or rehash old action/sci-fi film tropes, but at least it seems the studio is making headway on the film that has been stuck in development for many years.

Escape from New York is still in very early pre-production.


Follow Molly Freeman on Twitter @mollyrockit
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  1. If Charlie Hunnam is in it, I would not watch it. He is not a good actor, I hate everything he has been in.

    • If Charlie Hunnam is in it, both my wife and I will watch it. I think he’s great in Sons (didn’t like him in PR so much), and she thinks he’s (and I quote) “Man Chocolate”.

      • You’re a cuck

  2. After reading that team roster, I’m betting $50 that schizophrenics will be offended.

  3. “Escape From New York”…doe this mean someone finally got out of one of their traffic jams?

  4. I really hope Jon Bernthal gets the part

  5. i love charlie hunnam i think he is a great actor i really like jon bernthal as an actor too and i don’t know about dan stevens but snake plissken is AMERICAN and he should be played by an american actor

    • Like Zack Snyder’s Superman? Christopher Nolan’s Batman? The Amazing Spiderman?

      Or maybe you’d prefer an actor like Hugh Laurie (House), Hugh Dancy (Will Graham in Hannibal), Freddie Highmore (Norman Bates in Bates Motel), Damian Lewis (Homeland), Daniel Day Lewis (playing one of your greatest Presidents).

      We grow up hearing US accents, so actors are able to emulate them to the point most US citizens couldn’t tell whether someone is an American or not, so your point isn’t particularly valid.

      • then i don’t think will be a problem casting an american actor to play james bond ? i would love to see that plus i really like the idea of ben foster as king arthur

        • Um now let’s see. Who was that person Kevin Costner played? Oh that’s right Robin Hood, an English Hero. Hell we even have an Airport named after him (yes that’s right Doncaster’s Kevin Costner Airport!). At least he didn’t make the mistake of Russell Crowe and try to do an English Accent, but it was still accepted (and mocked in Men In Tights).

          I couldn’t care who plays Bond as long as they do a credible British Accent. Something Americans have difficulty with, unless they grow up hearing it, which as I stated Brits grow up constantly hearing US accents, via TV, Movies & Music! The better attempts have been where they have a close family member who was born in the UK. Mike Myer’s Shrek (ok a Canadian) was because his dad was of Scottish descent, so he did his version of him.

          Listen to Dick Van Dyke’s “Bert”, in Mary Poppins, and you’ll see what we dread!

      • scooter, you want to know what irritates most Americans? It is arrogant self involved europeans like you. If the U.S. hadn’t come into WW2 when we did you would now be under Nazi rule and speaking nothing but German, if you existed at all. You have to remember about Adolph’s penchant for his “Master Race”. Gee now I forget, how many billions of dollars did the U.S. give to europe to rebuild? Without which you would only now be coming out from under the total destruction of europe. So let’s all be good little boys and girls and play nice. So says the Baby Boomer born in 1951.

        • What the hell has that to do with anything that’s on this board?

          Is we a little troll with nothing better to do with our lives than have bitter resentment at the rest of the world?

          • Plus the fact that people like that guy like to throw around “If we hadn’t walked in and saved you all, you’d be talking German”, which is complete BS. The tide was turning by the time the US entered the war and they only did so because of an attack on Pearl Harbor, despite saying no to joining the war effort for years because it wasn’t in the best interests of the people (which is why some say the attacks were a false flag to rally support publicly to join the war).

            It’s also always baby boomers born between the war and the 70s making that ridiculous claim while those of us born after 1970 were actually taught history classes and know that the US didn’t “save” anyone at all.

            Just shows how ignorant people who throw that laughable rhetoric around really are. Ignore him, scooter. He’ll come into another article claiming that the US won the Crusades too (the war between Muslims and Christians in the Middle East almost 1000 years ago, long before the US was even discovered and populated by Europeans).

        • i think you forget that america despite giving military aid didnt want to partake in a war that was just some distant country to them. many people in america opposed the idea of going into war but pearl harbour left you little much choice. you watched for 2 years allied soldiers being killed from a distance before realising that the nazi’s were a formidable evil that needed to be stopped and if it hadnt have been for pearl harbour we cant even be assured you would have even got involved. then you would be answering to a nazi superpower! dont shame the allied soliders by saying you ‘saved us’ and see it more as a joint effort yeah?. america only pumped so much money into europe because they feared communism infulence in europe from stalin and we all know how america feels about that.

          • @dazz

            sorry didnt see your response there!

    • Its called “acting” for a reason. If a British actor can nail the essence of Superman, then so be it. The same goes for this character.

      • then i want an american actor like chris pine or matthew mcconaughey to play james bond

        • Many non British have already played the role including an american.Sean Connery, to first play the role, was Scottish. George Lanzeby is Australian,Pierce Brosnan is irish, and Barry Nelson was an American who played the part,Clint Eastwood was also offered the role.

          • John Hamm could be an awesome bond

        • Ok. As long as they can capture the essence of James Bond, then I’m cool with it (even though I quit watching watching Bond several years ago and couldn’t care less about anymore films).

      • So, there isn’t a single American actor who can play the role? It has to be a British actor? I don’t get it…

        • that’s my point even kurt russell said many times that snake plissken is very american and he wants an american actor for it i wanna see joe manganiello as snake plissken

          • “I don’t wanna be played by this jerk-off, I want to be played by an American……jerk-off”.

            – Kurt Russell, 1988 (possibly paraphrased from Tango & Cash)

        • Never said it “had to be a British actor”. What I’m saying is that I don’t care the nationality of the actor as long as that person can capture the essence of the character, then I’m cool with it. Like I said, it’s called “acting” for a reason

          • That’s why I find it hard to picture anyone other than Kurt Russell. I just can’t imagine anyone else who could capture the spirit of Snake Plissken (as long as it isn’t Gerard Butler as one rumour a while back stated).

          • So, if you really “don’t care” about the nationality, then why do you care if people think the actor should be American? It should be fine with you right?

            • I don’t. I couldn’t give a flip if they cast a German, an American, or a freaking Martian. Like I keep saying, there’s a reason it’s called “ACTING”. But I’m going to end this “argument” here because I know from the past times debating with you how you operate Ken J.

              • Do whatever you wish Matt. Although I’m a bit surprised just how quickly it boiled down to petty ad hominem though… *shrug*

  6. Escape from New York is a classic, that being said it’s also very dated. It would be nice to see the franchise rebooted.

    Jon Bernthal will always be Shane, every time I see him in anything, I think Shane. I just can’t see Shane as Snake. But that’s me. Charlie Hunnam, is Jax, but I’ve seen him in other things and I don’t get that same feeling for some reason. While I like Charlie in most things I’ve seen him in, I’m not sure he’s the best fit for Snake either. I’d take him over the other 2 guys mentioned tho.

    For some odd reason Jason Moma would be my pick for a new Snake, I can’t really explain it, but I think Snake Plissken with dreads would be so cool visually.

  7. Funny how Jon B got killed off early on in TWD but might end up being the biggest actor off the show. Give the role to him. Charlie H already has Pacific Rim and King Arthur.

  8. Sigh, can anyone name a recent remake that was truly successful?

    • Dawn of the Dead,King kong,3:10 to yuma,The departed,Casino royal,True grit,13 assassins,Insomnia,Oceans Eleven,Let me in.

      • None of those are great compared to the original. Some more “successful” than others but none of these remakes really hit the mark. Maybe it’s an age thing….

        • Then you are just talking semantics and specifically your notion of better, we judge better by more successful so that is all we have to judge them on to say something different is opinion. I take every movie for what it is it takes nothing away from the original since the original still exists for me to watch. Robocop, Total Recall, Fright Night and other recent remakes weren’t nearly as horrible as they are made out to be by fan boys/girls of the original. Add the Manchurian Candidate, The Ring, The Fly…

          • +1!

          • Strongly disagree.

            Total Recall was decent but not as fun as the Schwarzenegger version and the Robocop remake was just absolute trash.

    • Can anyone name a movie that is NOT a remake? Sad thing is, Hollywood will still crank ‘em out as long as the money keeps rolling in.

      • Guardians of the Galaxy, Cantinflas (new limited release this weekend – about iconic Mexican comedian Cantinflas),
        Frontera (new film about border story w/ Michael Pena, Eva Longoria & Ed Harris) – in theaters & OnDemand/ iTunes, etc)
        Horns (with Daniel Radcliffe), Lucy, Let’s Be Cops, The Lego Movie,

        Tusk (new Kevin Smith film), Interstellar, Selma (about bus boycotts), Rosewater (new film by Jon Stewart), Birdman (Michael Keaton) and of course Ant-Man, Doctor Strange (in development) and various other Marvel films for new characters

      • There are more original films than remakes each year.The reboots are more successful though and people go out and see them.Hollywood is just doing there job most directors and writers would want there legacy to be an original film they made but the money is in reboots,remakes,sequels.Your right its the Audiences fault for supporting these types of things.

    • 21 Jump Street.

  9. It´s all remakes, reboots, 2nd parts… seems very hard to find a good original idea??

  10. Kurt Russell is Snake Plissken Screw these Sorry sacks of S–t , losers .and these lame remakes . Hire Kurt And Make Escape from New York part 2 ,the return to,the Sequel or whatever you want to call it, and give us the movie we want .

  11. Remake, remake, remake. Blah, blah, blah.

  12. I’m sorry, but none of these new-age actors can do that cool bad-ass old school Kurt Russell…

    Although out of the list of actors mentioned to have been thrown around, I wouldn’t be against Timothy Olyphant. He definitely can play that smart-ass bad-ass killer. He already does in Justified…

    • Timothy would have been perfect.

      and you are right. The problem with these new actors is they have no “charisma.” That’s what kept Arnie Bruce and Stallone going all those years. This kid don’t have the hard edges to play that legendary outlaw. When he acts tough he’s lame. one note.

      i wanted to see it for timothy olyphant but i doubt it. and i love the original too. but i just don’t have faith in this.

  13. If I had to choose between the 3 actors mentioned in this article, I’d choose Jon Bernthal for Snake. Although, I wish they would just complete the trilogy with Kurt Russell. Kind of like Metal Gear Solid 4, have him come back as Old Snake, to save the world once again.

  14. Frank Grillo is the best fit for me. Next would be Tom Hardy, then Jon Bernthal. Hunnam is probably the worst choice. I do want to see him in a British gangster movie though

    • Frank Grillo would not be a bad pick… Only seen him in The Winter Soldier, but I could see it happening.

  15. Kurt Russell channeling Clint Eastwood. That film was so much fun, but then…I love (most) John Carpenter films. Of course, as great as ‘New York’ was, ‘L.A.’ was THAT bad.

    Probably because so much time has elapsed, but I’m pretty cool with many of the suggestions I’m hearing. But I confess that hearing Jon Bernthal’s name mentioned, did make me smile. However, I’m not so sure I would want anyone to mimic Russell.

    As for the amount of reboots, remakes, and sequels that we’re plagued with…who cares?
    There are many fresh ideas out there. I know, because I’ve enjoyed them. The industry will always try to cash-in on something successful, and why shouldn’t they? I’ve recently seen remakes and fresh products that have ranged from poor to great. So I can be swept away with a seventh edition of a bunch of mutants, the same way I can while watching a Wolf attempt to devour Wall Street.

  16. Escape from New York might be one of those movies that play better due to the context of when they were made.

    If they are going through with it though I think Norman Reddus would make a good Snake.

  17. Escape from New York remake?

    I thought this was dead.

  18. Plissken’s team consists of Mina, a warzone journalist framed for murder and living in the shadows of New York as a scavenger; Cabbie, a schizophrenic travel guide who serves as comic relief; Gareth, the last surviving member of the President’s security detail who harbors a dangerous secret; and The Brain, Plissken’s former partner-in-crime who left him to die after a botched robbery.”

    so basically it’s pretty similar to the original – where Snake recruits/ finds/ joins forces with a few people to have a make-shift team – ie: Maggie (Adrienne Barbeau), Cabbie (Ernest Borgnine) and Brain (Harry Dean Stanton).
    as they struggle to make their way out of NY against every a**hole in NY – specifically The DUKE (Isaac Hayes)

    I’m surprised Molly (SR writer) or no one else has mentioned this, sounds like a pretty spot on remake with 1 minor adjustment (ie. war zone journalist) & name change to the lead female character and 1 character addition of the surviving Secret Service agent who is a double agent or something ??

    NOTE: futuristic dystopian – does not typically mean “tech based” – so not sure why that was mentioned – especially considering the original Escape for NY wasn’t exactly a “technology heavy” story – there were a few things, but no time travel robots or anything — it was basically a lot of running, fighting & shooting (like most action movies are).

    the original Escape from NY was great – but yes a bit old & dated now – the sequel Escape from LA – SUCKED BIG TIME.
    a remake/ reboot with sequel potential wouldn’t be a bad thing
    Kurt Russell is a bit older now, but it would be cool to see him wear the eye-patch one more time for the right story

    incidentally …. Kurt Russell … for Cable … in X-Force movie … may be not the 1st choice, but they could do worse.

  19. Frank Grillo as Snake, now that I would pay to see.

  20. How about david hayter or kiefer sutherland to play snake than it will all come full circle.

  21. They should leave this alone. The Book and the Original movie were good. Remaking this means Hollywood will screw it up with all that political correct nonsense and make it a crap movie, just to make some money.

  22. Why even remake this? Kurt Russel isn’t doing anything, just bring him back for a sequel “Old Snake: Escape from Ohio” or some s***.

    • Kurt Russel as Old Snake in… Escape from a Florida retirement home…

  23. Why not just give the gig to Guy Pearce, sure he already played Snake Plissken in Lockout!!!!

  24. None of the actors mentioned are fit to play Snake, as much as i like Statham and Hardy they just don’t have what it takes to replace Kurt Russell and as for Hunnam i’ve still not forgiven him for that p!55 poor cockney accent in Green Street Hooligans (worse than Dick Van Dike in Mary Poppins!)

    • I say they should go back to their original idea of Timothy Olyphant…

  25. If this has to happen (and I don’t believe it should) then Antony Starr should get a look in.

  26. the “TEAM” you mentioned… aren’t they the same characters from the ORIGINAL??? Ernest Borgnine played Cabbie, Harry Dean Stanton was Brain — the only new addition seems to be the President’s Security team guy

  27. Why not make Lockout 2 with Guy Pearce, instead of rebooting Escape from NY?

    • Because Lockout was god-awful…

  28. i literally just woke up from a dream that told me the new lead for the escape from new york reboot should be a black guy. i’m not sure who.