‘Escape from New York’ Remake: Tom Hardy & Jason Statham on Shortlist?

Published 1 year ago by , Updated March 27th, 2013 at 9:56 am,

Tom Hardy and Jason Statham in Escape From New York Escape from New York Remake: Tom Hardy & Jason Statham on Shortlist?

John Carpenter’s dystopian action-thriller Escape from New York (1981) is commonly held up as a cult classic with an iconic protagonist – that of Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell), an Old West-style outlaw who wears an eyepatch and has a propensity for gunfighting. In this day and age, it was only a matter of time before the film was remade.

Joel Silver (Die Hard, Lethal Weapon) and Studio Canal are producing the latest attempt at a remake, and if a recent report is to be believed, their top two choices for the role of the ultimate American badass are British actors Jason Statham (The Expendables 3) and Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises).

For those not in the know, the plot of Escape from New York follows the recently arrested Snake as he’s sent to Manhattan Island – now a free-for-all prison with no, ahem, escape - to find and retrieve the President of the United States, whose plane crash-landed inside. To discourage Snake from just making a run for it, the government injects him with microscopic explosives that will erupt inside his carotid arteries and kill him if he fails his mission in 24 hours. Naturally, lighthearted hijinks ensue.

Escape From New York Snake Plissken Escape from New York Remake: Tom Hardy & Jason Statham on Shortlist?

Apparently, the new film will be, at least in part, a prequel in the vein of Rise of the Planet of the Apes that will lead to a trilogy of films. What that means precisely (will it be a sort of prequel/remake hybrid a la The Thing?) is anyone’s guess at this point.

Now, according to an “Hollywood insider close to the film’s producers” – courtesy of NY Daily News – the producers wants to get either Statham or Hardy attached to the role come summer-time. On Statham, the insider said:

“Jason is the type of actor who has the physical attributes and screen presence to reprise Snake. He has a proven track record as a leading man and would do a great job.”

And on Hardy:

“Tom was immense in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and deserves to get a break in a top role. This could put him firmly in the A-list.”

This isn’t the first time an actor from the United Kingdom has been attached to the role of Snake Plissken. When it was announced a few years ago that Gerard Butler would play Snake in an EfNY remake – to be directed by Len “Total Recall remake” Wisemen - there was a minor backlash to the casting decision with regard to his nationality. Kurt Russell was particularly displeased.

Said Russell:

“When I was told [Butler had been cast], my initial reaction was, ‘Oh, man.’ [...] I do think [Snake Plissken] was quintessentially one thing – and that’s American.”

While I don’t exactly agree that quintessentially American characters shouldn’t be played by non-Americans – Henry Cavill looks like a perfect fit for Superman – I do think that the non-American in question should at the very least be able to convincingly pull off being an American. Jason Statham has been great in a number of movies, but he isn’t exactly known for his uncanny American accent. (Did you know that his character from the Transporter series was supposed to be American? Because I did not.)

And that’s on top of the fact that Jason Statham is just a little bit follicly challenged. This wouldn’t be a problem for 99% of characters in 99% of movies, but Snake Plissken is a character known for his voluptuous brunette locks. What’s next – will Snake have both his eyes? Will he have a tattoo of a mongoose instead of a snake? Will he have a really high-pitched voice? Cats and dogs, living together – mass hysteria!

Escape From New York Reboot Prequel Escape from New York Remake: Tom Hardy & Jason Statham on Shortlist?

As for Tom Hardy, he’s certainly capable of pulling off an American accent, having done so convincingly in a number of films (Warrior, among others). The only problem with Hardy is that he’s already playing an iconic action hero established in the 1980s (Mad Max) in the upcoming reboot/sequel Mad Max: Fury Road. With Fury Road set to be released next year, how likely is it that the actor has any interest whatsoever in taking on two “reboots” of beloved 1980s franchise films? (Answer: Not very likely.)

Frankly, neither of these actors “scream” Snake Plissken to me, so I’m hopeful that Joel Silver, Silver Pictures, and Studio Canal go in a different direction, though of the two, my preference would definitely be Hardy.

What do you think, Screen Ranters? Would you be interested in seeing either Jason Statham or Tom Hardy take on the role of Snake Plissken? Let us know in the comments.

There’s currently no release date for the Escape from New York remake, but stay tuned for more news as it becomes available.

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Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: NY Daily News

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  1. Pleeeze …enough with the bickering guys. I like reading the comments section more than the article itself but sometimes it’s so tiring reading people dissing each other rather than making constructive and interesting comments on the subject itself. C’mon guys. So much for that. Taylor Kitsch sounds the best among the names thrown about so far. Loved the guy in John Carter. Statham ? Nothing against him but he’s been in leading roles in too many of recent films and it would be hard to accept him as Snake now IMO.

    • I am a fan that f*-+ing gets it. No way these two are even close. Carpenter has a track record as well as Kurt fu*-king Russell. I would rather see Kurt do one more, or have him and C write and direct the new one. They know snake personally for God’s sake!!!!!????

  2. Norman Reddus could make a good Snake. Fits the role, has geek street cred at this point, and has that squint thing going already….

  3. I think Timothy Olyphant would be perfect to play snake

  4. THE ROCK SHOULD PLAY SNAKE…ENOUGH SAID!

  5. Sempre fui fa de novas ideias mes neste caso apelo “nunca mexa com o original“.

  6. sory
    I’ve always been fa of new ideas but in this case appeal “never mess with the original.”

  7. Kurt has the right to choose the next Snake. He helped create the bad ass. I wish movies weren’t ruined over and over, well you know. Snake is gone or he is out there.. It’s up to the creators. American actor only. Quit being such pussies. American fun and solute; ) I’m Irish%)

  8. WHY NOT KURT RUSSELL?????????????????????????????

    HE IS PLISSKIN……………….

  9. Brat Pitt would make a good Snake Plissken

  10. Bane hardy should be the next snake i like his style he’s due. i still like jason but seen him in to many movies doing the same two step.

  11. Thomas Jane would be the perfect Snake Plissken.

  12. Here’s a rather truncated list of possible Snake Plissken actors for the reboot (specifically, actors who, by dint of their nationality, fulfill Kurt Russell’s requirement that Snake be quintessentially American)?

    Please note, I list these in no particular order:

    DWAYNE ‘THE ROCK’ JOHNSON (an actor who certainly has the physical attributes for the role and who also, despite being overlooked for his actual acting ability, has the chops to bring a certain life and vitality to what is, ostensibly, a 2-D character anyway)

    VIN DIESEL (another impressive male action lead who also has the innate acting ability to pull off a decidedly more three-dimensional version of the Snake character)

    CHRIS PINE (well, he certainly has the look of the character with the well-defined facial characteristics and overall build – another competent actor who would have no trouble conquering the only slightly-nuanced performance necessary to bring the character to life)

    JENSEN ACKLES (an outsider choice, certainly, but an actor who has certainly proven capable of handling a character who is removed & stoic yet impassioned and intense, all while injecting a wry sense of humor into the mix as well – see his role in the TV series, ‘Supernatural’, for proof of said abilities)

    WILL SMITH (I mean, c’mon; this guy has it all: great acting chops, the ability to effect a cold and calculating demeanor, physical prowess, name recognition and box-office draw – why wouldn’t this man’s name be in the running for the part?)

    Limiting the potential actor pool to those of American origins, sadly, eliminates a couple of great names from the list – Hugh Jackman (who, as evidenced by his recurrent role as ‘Wolverine’ in the ‘X-Men’ movie franchise – amongst other American characters he has portrayed, can certainly pull off the appropriate accent), Christian Bale (I’m not even going to bother listing reasons why this guy could play the part – “What the Hell can’t he do?” would be a far easier question to answer), and Karl Urban (a Kiwi with the ability to pull off the apparently-necessary American accent who, further, has the physical presence and acting ability to play the role) to name just three possibilities

  13. Said it once, and I’ll say it again. Make a movie starring Kurt Russel and let him pick who will play him in flashback scenes. I think it would be cool to see how he lost his eye and to whom.

  14. I adore Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken, but it is a bit jingoistic and short sighted to say only american actors can play Snake Plissken. Hay, if Renee Zellweger can play a british role of Bridget Jones and make it iconic (and most cinema going brits didn’t realize she was american), I’m sure anyone from another country can play Snake, as long as they do a proper american accent and look the part.

  15. i think kit harington of pompeii would make a better choice for snake plissken.