Is Timothy Olyphant The New Snake Plissken?

Published 5 years ago by

timothy olyphant 01 Is Timothy Olyphant The New Snake Plissken?

With Breck Eisner’s successful remake of The Crazies under his belt, he’s moving on to slightly more revered territory – an updated version of John Carpenter’s classic, Escape From New York. In an interview with MovieHole, Eisner recognizes how crucial the casting of Snake Plissken is and reveals that Timothy Olyphant (Justified) would be at the top of his list of contenders:

Creatively, he would be great for it. We have not yet discussed internally within the studio who will play Snake Plissken. There are many factors that go into those discussions. First and foremost, obviously, is the creative one. We can’t make the movie unless we get the perfect Snake Plissken, and that’s a tall order. There are very few guys that could do it. He would definitely be one of the guys who could. There is no question about that.

He also discussed his take on Escape From New York and how it would differ from Carpenter’s:

The reality of Escape from New York today is that the social meaning of it is not true any more. The movie is a comment on urban decay. The suburban flight. All of that was coming out of the late 70s and early 80s. When the movie came out. That doesn’t exist today. The thought for me is, “Is there any relevance today to make Escape from New York?” When we were developing it, when I was looking at it, and I was analyzing it, I realized that the world is a completely different place. New York has a completely different character now than it did back then. The idea of turning it into a prison is a completely different level of social commentary. I liked the idea of discovering this movie through a completely different set of eyes in a different decade. That gave me the confidence that there is a reason to make this movie.

Escape from new york header Is Timothy Olyphant The New Snake Plissken?

It was back in February that New Line Cinema announced their plans to take another pass at the Escape From New York remake. The news came after a previous attempt to resurrect the property several years earlier had resulted in a revolving door of directors and star Gerard Butler (who had been set to play Snake) jumping ship. While I can appreciate what Eisner is getting at here, I want to share this one last quote because I think it’s important:

Escape from New York wasn’t a low budget movie for the time, but John Carpenter was working from this much bigger canvas. A lot of things, like the president’s plane crashing into the building? It was quite telling that they had a simulation on an Atari video screen. There are a lot of places in that movie where its obvious that Carpenter wanted to do bigger and better, and cooler things. He couldn’t, because he couldn’t afford that. We can do that now.

This is a very different situation than The Crazies. The main reason being that the original Crazies wasn’t very good. There was a lot of room for improvement. It also didn’t have  a fan base as passionate as Escape From New York‘s or a role as iconic as Snake Plissken. The fact that you can do a version that’s bigger and better is hardly justification and it’s going to take a lot more to convince me that this is a good idea.

However, I’m a fan of Timothy Olyphant as an actor and the potential for his involvement is the only thing that’s piqued my interest. The problem is that Kurt Russell is so closely associated with the role that it’s hard to imagine anyone successfully reinterpreting it. In fact, I’d much rather see Russell as an older, meaner, version of Snake in another sequel, but I’ve accepted the fact that it will never come to pass. Besides, anyone who made it through Escape From L.A. has already survived one crappy remake of the original.

Would Timothy Olyphant be a solid choice for Snake Plissken? How do you feel about the  Escape From New York remake gaining momentum again?

Source: MovieWeb.

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    • Olyphant was awesome in “The Girl Next Door”. That’s when I became totally sold on him as an actor.

  1. Maybe I just didnt see it that deep. New York was “walled” off as prisons were getting to unsecured and packed.

    President crashes there and needs to be rescued. Kurt can do the job tso he can get off the hook.

    Violence ensues.

    While the social meaning may have mirroed the way they lived on the island they were still all prisoners/bad guys. NY itself was not relevant as a character (IMO).

    As for Tim as long as it does not take him away from Justified…

  2. This isn’t a comedy. He may play A good part but he needs to be just like the original mean and takes no bs and gets the job fine his way.

  3. @Christopher: I’m with you all the way. The only element that has me interested in this movie is Timothy Olyphant. But Kurt Russell IS Snake. I can’t see a remake being all that receptive without Russell.

  4. I’d rather they just *didn’t remake every movie I ever liked into pale, crappy parodies of themselves. What’s next: Jim Carrey stars in the new comedy remake of Soylent Green?

    • Ya know, I can totally see that! He’s being carried away at the end of the movie screaming, “SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!” like he did when he farted in the elevator in Liar, Liar and said, “IT WAS ME!”

  5. Let’s not forget…Timothy Olyphant played the title role in “Hitman”, to the roaring sound of one hand clapping.

    As a nemesis for Kurt-as-Snake, yes…as Snake?


  6. bet it wil be a PG-13 remake….

  7. I actually like Olyphant, but still not sure about a remake of that movie without Russell…

  8. They could get Adrian Brody to play Snake,,,doesn’t matter who they cast I won’t support this remake.

    • me either 790, me either, the studios already BOTCHED one classic Carpenter film, no reason to see them make the same mistake

  9. It’s useless to say “don’t remake it” because it’s already in motion. T.O. is a great choice actually. I saw the Perfect Getaway not too long ago and he was a freaking bad ass in that movie (“American Jedi”). Rough him up a little, let him grow a beard, put an eye patch on him and we’re good to go. People are being negative too fast. Remember, with the money grubbing Hollywood execs we can have Zac Effron or Edward/Jacob play Plisken. So I say, this is a good choice.

    Coincidently, Carpenter said this week that Hideo Kojima asked him for his blessing when creating Metal Gear Solid to use Plisken as the main inspiration for Snake (the protagonist in the game)

      • You sound like you’re talking yourself out of it…c’mon, you know you want to support it :)

        • i dont support any remakes/reboots of anykind lol. simple, plus we all know this will be a PG-13 remake…hell no

          • lets not jump the gun on the PG-13 man. this same director did the crazies which was very R.

            • im jumping the gun man! lol..i will be very surprised of its an actual R. most studios are emo these days and go for the PG-13:(

  10. sorry,this is nothing without Kurt Russell. it will bomb.

  11. Im not keen on the idea of a remake as i enjoyed the original,But i think that Timothy Olyphant would be the best choice & is my 1st choice aswell,I thought he was awesome in Justified

  12. I would have preferred a sequel to Escape from L.A.
    Now there going to remake one of the classics and Kurt Russell’s in talks to do another Tango & Cash???


    • hey i liked tango and cash……ive always said kurt and john should make another snake movie, and have it go head to head with this POC remake thing thats happening lol

  13. Linda have you seen Deadwood? Tim was great in that show.

      • I’m with you guys on Russel being the original Snake but the guy is like 60 years old (or close to it). I don’t want a 60 year old dude jumping railings, taking out bad guys with hand to hand combat, etc. Just won’t work.

    • Agreed. I love him as Seth Bullock. I was pumped for “Justified” just because it would get him back into a cowboy hat. That man was born to wear a cowboy hat.

  14. Ogb139,,,
    “Missing out” is a relative term…
    I’m also missing out on “So You Think You Can Dance”, and “Biggest Loser”. Damn I’m missing out,,,
    Screw the remakes, there’s too many of them!!!

    • im right there with you 790. too mnay, TOOOOOO freakin fast man

  15. When I read Brock’s statement -

    “Escape from New York wasn’t a low budget movie for the time, but John Carpenter was working from this much bigger canvas. A lot of things, like the president’s plane crashing into the building? It was quite telling that they had a simulation on an Atari video screen.”

    I know there’s a problem.

    First of all, Brock makes himself sound like an idiot when he says this. I’m pretty sure he’s not, but it’s how he sounds. (“It wasn’t a low budget movie for the time”) I can see why this part was highlighted by Chris.
    In addition, we have seen what happens when other directors take Carpenter’s films and “update the story and visuals”. With the three remakes thus far of Carpenter’s work, all three took the same mindset. We all know what happened to Assault On Precinct 13, The Fog and Halloween.
    I’m not suggesting a remake of Escape won’t break that cycle or not- but I am pointing out if that is the mandate it already has an uphill battle to fight, and it will be seen as a remake in name only.

    Saying “we can update the plane hijacking and crash” isn’t enough to get me interested in the remake, much less anyone else. “We can update some of the FX” Since Escape didn’t use a ton of (even dated) FX, this also is bit of a “so what?” Then you bring in an actor who has to be made up to be a Kurt Russell clone (big mistake) Olyphant actually has more of a Romero /Frank Doubleday look to me. Next thing you’ll tell me is that Sam Jackson is The New Duke Of New York A number 1.

    Could there be ways the change it up? Perhaps. But when the appeal of the 80s film was concentrated on character, time limit and making great uses out of low budget, Brock’s words come off as if the remake is just another remake to cash in on a brand.

    • Assault happens to be one of my favorite Carpenter movies, i was displeased withthe remake. Zombies reimaging of halloween was very interesting for one thing…it showed Myers childhood, and the events that were talked about in carpenters film. the fog remake…ick, blah, it was terrible. the escape from new york remake..i have no intention of seeing lol

    • Now you mention it I can see Olyphant with pointy teeth (whatever happened to Frank Doubleday after that?), and the overused Samuel L as the Duke is VERY plausible. If they can’t get him it’ll be a sullen rapper of some description.

  16. “Escape from New York wasn’t a low budget movie for the time”…Eh?? In the early ’80s Carpenter was working with less than half the budget of anything even David Cronenberg made back then. The “simulation on an Atari video screen” Eisner mentions wasn’t even computer-generated; it was a model of the city with reflective tape stuck all over the buildings and filmed under UV lighting.

    You’re absolutely right, Christopher – being ABLE to go bigger and better is no reason for anything, and with Eisner’s dubious blathering about social commentary I can’t help feeling he’s trying to rewrite history to justify his involvement in this. Escape From NY was never about the big spectacle anyway. Escape From LA had ten times its budget and that was horrible. Looks, if anything, ten times worse now for trying to shoehorn in big set pieces that it didn’t deliver on.

    • i didnt hate LA as much as everyone did, for the simple fact its SNAKE

      • LOL – I didn’t want to see him in some coke-fuelled, deja vu, cheap-arse hallucinatory retread, though!

        • lol, yeah, but still…its snake

          • He even sits in the same chair downtown, just to rub it in for us. Now, if he’d brought it with him…THAT would’ve been cool beyond description…

            “There you go, Plissken: gun, chunky watch, bomb in your neck. I think that’s everything.”

            “I want the chair.”

            “I’m sorry, you…what?”

            (Eastwood hiss) “Give me. The chair.”

            • lol, i know what movies im watching tonight haha

              • The Dollars trilogy!

  17. Yeah I loved Escape from LA as well, it was just as campy as NY and had a steller cast!

    Vin Diesel needs to quit wasting his time making crap like Fast&Furious and xXx and do another Riddick film!!! Keep what you kill, I want a sequel to Chronicles!!!!!

    • umm dude, snake has a full head of HAIR, and no he wouldnt “bea awesome snake plishkin”

    • Vin Diesel? Seriously? He would make a horrible Snake Plissken! I don’t mind looking at him but he looks chiseled/smooth all the time. Snake needs to be rough. Diesel couldn’t pull it off.

  18. Anthony im a girl you dickhead!!!! and well Olly whats its got dark ahor and too scrawney besides he is bOring as hell author Kurt had blond whats it matter Diesel still be a better Pliskin..

    • couldnt tell from that little icon picture there, you look more on the transgendered side, but thats just my opinion

  19. Anthony open your eyes…I”m not dude!! Are you blind you monkey spank!! And Vin Diesel still would be best choice for the part hair or no hair..

  20. “m Girl not a dude!!!

    • Kill that spell check, rogue-x – you know it makes sense!

        • anthony,

          What the hell, dude? Back off.

          Rogue-X, please dial it down as well.



          • vic, my apologies :)

            • and vic, it wasnt my intention to get into an internet war of words lol. but i re-read everyting and in no where did i strike any first name calling blow, i just simply started off this whole thing by a simple “umm dude” but i guess one can see where a female would get miffed by that. but i do say dude a lot, bornand raisedin san diego, its in my blood i guess haha, but again, my apologies

              • Yeah, it takes two to tango. :)


    • what are you, 12???

  21. Anthony, Hit Girl was 12,,,,,,, 8-O

    Don’t mess with Hit Girl.

    • lol

  22. roue just doesnt know wtf he’s talking about, clearly

  23. Another vital ingredient that’ll be missing from any remake is John Carpenter’s soundtrack. Minimal and repetitive (in a good way), his compositions always gave his early films a unique atmosphere.

  24. Yeah Big D, I totally agree!

    Escape From NY, and LA both had really amazing and memorable themes!!! The only one that’s better would be Brad Fidels work on the Terminator films and of course the work of legend, John Williams

    • Good call on Brad Fiedel! His Terminator soundtracks are deceptively simple in a similar way. There as an almost subliminal pulse, but instantly recognisable. I haven’t seen any of the Carpenter remakes – if you have, did any of them even make any effort with the music?

      • Carpenters soundtracks are always awesome

    • That would be 790™…

        • now that i watch it again for the 3725092390 time, im still glad that Carpenter didnt put that deleted opening sequence in the movie after all

  25. I haven’t seen any of the Carpenter remakes Big D.

    • 790, youre really not missing anything haha. i had been hearing of a remake of They Live as well:(

      • Anything decent on the soundtracks of those, anthony?