Rumor Patrol: Jeremy Renner to Star in ‘Escape From New York’ Remake? [Updated]

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:30 pm,

It’s challenging for any actor to take on a role that people have come to associate so closely with the actor who portrayed it originally.

But Jeremy Renner is no stranger to challenges.

Bloody Disguising reports that the Hurt Locker star may just be planning to take on Kurt Russell’s Snake Plissken in the remake of John Carpenter’s Escape From New York.

[Update (Nov 10th): The Wrap confirmed that no offer has been made to Renner]

Kurt Russell owned the role, and it will be difficult not to think of him while watching any re-imagined version. At different points, Len Wiseman and Brett Ratner were slated to direct the project – with Gerard Butler attached to star. Fans of the original film saw any combination of these choices as potentially disastrous, and many were relieved when production failed to move forward.

Since that time, New Line has decided to revisit the project, tapping Breck Eisner (The Crazies) to direct, a fair choice for the task; though, perhaps the largest piece to the the Escape From New York puzzle, is a workable casting choice for Snake Plissken.

No one is going to bring the same cocky charm, or boyish appeal, that Russell brought to the role. His infectious smile, and campy one-liner delivery, solidified his place in the hearts of many, and attempting to repeat his interpretation would be a mistake.

Jeremy Renner does feel like an option with some legs. However, if one were to aim for an approximation of the original, then Gerard Butler actually has more of a sense of charm than Renner. What Renner does have is the requisite cockiness the character needs, and the talent to bring something original as well as surprising to the role.

Escape from New York Rumor Patrol: Jeremy Renner to Star in Escape From New York Remake? [Updated]

As we know, there is a steady stream of remakes finding their way down the Hollywood pipeline. Geek genre fan favorites, and horror films, curry particular favor in the remake universe. Much beloved properties are continually getting updates, reboots, long awaited sequels… or prequels.

The Alien prequel, Dune remake, and Thundercats redevelopment are only a few examples, and do not include the reboots of prior reboots such as Superman and Spider-Man.

Often, there is fan resistance to continued franchise development (or revisitation) and for good reason – disaster, as we know, can and does strike even the most well-intentioned projects (Indy 5).

However, I must admit to feeling a fair amount of intrigue in regards to this latest proposed remake of Escape from New York.

For those who don’t remember, or have not been exposed to Escape From New York, take a look at the synopsis for the original 1981 film:

“In 1997, when the US President crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in for a rescue.”

It’s interesting to look at imagined versions of the future – once they’ve already become the past – and Escape From New York is definitely a tempting film to revisit. A new vision is a more appropriate choice for this remake – something fresh, modernized, and creative. An Eisner/Renner combo has the potential to do just that. I imagine a slightly darker comedic tone and a refreshed, and perhaps starker, visual interpretation.

I don’t want to count my snake eggs before they’re hatched but this remake might be one to keep an eye on – and I’m approaching it with a sense of hopeful, if cautious, optimism.

Follow me on twitter @jrothc and Screen Rant @screenrant

Source: Bloody Disguising

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  1. And anything WORSE than a remake is the mere THOUGHT of Ratner touching this. It just sickens me.

  2. Roth…you saddened me tonight with this :(

    • LOl sorry Anthony! BUT don’t worry Ratner is no longer attached to the project in any way :D…As far as I know :)

      See below for my full diatribe on the matter :)!



  3. OMG!OMG! OMG! OMG! I love me some snake!!! And jeremy renner starring? hell yes!!! sign me up!!! its gonna be better then butler for sure…

    • OH HELL NO!!!!!!!! No one wants a watered down PG-13 remake!!! To quote David Lopan from Big Trouble in Little China: This really pisses me off!

  4. I’m really starting to get tired of this “re-imagining” boom that’s hitting tinsel town these days. Why bother with coming up with new movies, let’s just take every good movie ever made and we’ll stick the actor du jour in there and people will come! What’s next, Gone with the Wind with Hayden Christensen woodenly stating “Frankly Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.”

    • ACH bite your tongue! :)

      I can understand your feelings on the matter, but please lets leave Scarlett and Rhett out of it ;).

      I feel like you do most of the time. I also sort of understand why the trend continues. With hundreds of millions of dollars on the line now with so many films — studios are looking for a decent gauge if not guarantee on return. “Star Power” doesn’t mean quite the same thing anymore. People DO tend to respond to known franchises, and familiar properties. And so it goes.

      Also — I sort of think we all need to think about what we define as a “classic” film. That did used to be reserved for truly seminal film — but, I heard someone refer to “The Hangover” as a classic the other day :/.

      Don’t get me wrong, I like the film — but classic?

      A) There is an element of time involved in the determination of a classic, because an element of timelessness needs to be in play.

      We seem to be living in a collapsed sense of time, and an overblown sense of what has lasting and artistic value. If we like something a lot, we now refer to it as “classic.” But, that is perhaps not the best term to describe our feelings.

      I loved this movie too and think its TONS of fun, but I don’t know that I would put it in an “untouchable” category.

      Having said that — I get just as saddened by the constant remakes and redos and look forward to more creative and varied films.

      I think that will happen when — they cost less to make, and we are willing to pay to see them.

      Right now, with so many media platforms, TV, DVD, Streaming — it seems like we often only go to the theater to see a spectacle film, so likely, they will continue to be made.

      Thanks for commenting! Love chatting on these things :)



      • Roth, this film absolutely belongs in the “Don’t eff with it bin” Even Russell himself scoffed at the idea. I was mad about the vicious rumors then and am equally mad as hell now. I dont think The Hangover deserves classic status either by the way lol. Whoever said that needs to be &^!%# slapped into a coma.

      • Perhaps it doesn’t have the classic status of, say, Casablanca, but it does have cult-classic status, which is equally untouchable, in my mind. Even if the movie is “good” or “okay” (as opposed to horrendous), it will always live in the shadow of the original. Jeremy Renner is no Kurt Russell. So to me, this whole thing is just a totally worthless venture.

        • Thank you Ben, good to see that both you and Vic get it!

        • :) hey I am not a proponent of the constant remakes and reboots either — and they mostly leave something to be desired-even if it is a remake of something seriously B like A Nightmare On Elm Street. You can’t help but to think of the original, and it often seems stale.

          As good of an actor as Jackie Earl Haley is, his face does not have the same expressiveness and elasticity as Robert Englund, so his Freddy was a bit too serious and dry. Humor was a big part of those campy B 70s and 80s horror movies.

          What I am saying is that as long as audiences continue to respond to previously established property, brand, and franchise attachment — films like these will continue to be made.

          Its considered a built in audience, like stars used to draw (to a greater degree).

          My other point is — with this planned remake, if you are GOING to do it — I feel like THIS team is a LOT better than the one before Ratner/Butler…

          I like Butler, but if he did it, it would be impossibly cheesy and obnoxious, I just know it. This just isn’t the right role for him.

          This director is creative enough and Renner is DIFFERENT enough, to at least try and come up with a creative and innovative twist. It may work, it may not.

          But the other team, IMO would probably have just done a bit of copy cating, and the only thing they would focus on updating would be the effects — now THAT would suck.

          In an ideal world. We would have fresh new films to love and become attached to, with stories that reflect our time.

          In order for the endless stream of redos and remakes to stop — well, we have to stop paying for them, and I honestly do not see that happening any time soon.

          The fact that we are so attached to these properties, is the reason that the stuidios keep wanting to revisit them. It is a double edged sword.

          But I get why ppl are upset — I really do. It was a very creative and well executed concept, and he was SO great as that character.

          We would all like to see that with something fresh and new.


          • Ok, I’m sorry Roth. Guess I was shooting the messenger here LOL. But still. Cult Classics such as this should not be touched.

  5. No, please.


  6. Sooner or later they are gonna remake “Dances With Wolves” with like idk… Sam Worthington. And then instead of indians… they will have aliens! Wont that be the day.. Oh wait… :)

  7. I would rather sit through Escape FromL.A again then watch this remake.

  8. Unless they can come up with a different (but logical) take or twist on the story. I see this as unnecessary. Wasn’t the sequel Escape from LA criticized for being more of the same? I’ve watched both of them but don’t really remember much of a difference between the two other than the sequel had better action…I also remember the ending to it whereas I can’t remember how the first movie ended.

  9. I was just thinking the other day about Back to The Future and how there isn’t even a single mention of a remake for that series. Not that I want it to happen. And I guess I wouldn’t mind a remake of the original. But I can tell that Manhattan becomes a prison because of some political crap or they change the movie to be about zombies that over ran the island. Those are my only two concerns. Just get Tom Hardy or JGL to play SP. Actually that is not a bad idea, I don’t think.

    • JGL?? Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Seriously?

      Hey, I like the guy, but he’s no Snake Plissken.

      • Tom Hardy isn’t either.

        • Agreed, but for entirely different reasons.

          • One of them being he isn’t American. I can’t remeber the talk show, but Russell was asked about the long rumor about Butler playing Snake in a remake. “Snake is an american” was along the lines of the quote, cant remember exactly though. I do remember the crowd went nuts with applause with what he said too.

  10. Someone get John Carpenter on the phone and make him realize that Kurt Russel is still in good shape and could do a Snake Plissken movie. Why does it have to be a remake lets see one of the heist that he gets betrayed in and has to actually break out of prison for no other reason than revenge and the revolution.

  11. This movie should not be touched… I would agree on a sequel. Like Escape From NY 2 or Escape From Atlanta or Dallas…
    Renner is good but he is no Plissken

    • The word “Escape” doesnt even have to be in the title. We all know and love the character enough to know who he is and what he’s been through.

  12. ok, what if kurt russell was still snake pliskin, only older and in charge of the dept. he could be the guy running things in the background kinda like s.h.i.e.l.d.
    this thing comes up and he gets his nephew (bob pliskin) to go in under his direction….
    i know, i know…but it still couldn’t be any worse than “escape from LA”

    • I’d like to see a continuation of the last one. The world is in chaos with what he did at the end, could be fun.

      And yes, I’m one of the few that loved EFLA :)

      • I enjoy the heck out of Escape From L.A. A lot of people don’t get that it’s a satire, that it was mocking those action movie sequels from the late eighties, early nineties that basically just re-did the first film (Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Another 48 Hours). The ending is classic and I’d love to see Carpenter and Russell expand on it. Alas, it’ll never happen at this point.

        • Yea, I LOVED the ending, it was the total “Snake” thing to do LOL.

  13. I would rather see Kurt Russell in a sequel, something like Escape from Beirut.

    I have zero interest in another re-imagining or reboot of Escape from NY.

    There are so many great un-produced concepts out there that die in turnaround. I would rather see some of them resurrected than see lesser rehashes of cult movies I enjoy.

  14. I will be skipping if its not Kurt Russell.

    • If you don’t care what anyone thinks, don’t comment.

  15. I’ll just be happy when ScreenRant “reimagines” their stock Jeremy Renner head shot. . .

  16. instead of doing another escape movie they should explore his past as an outlaw and a robber explore his past stop repeating yourselves

    • with kurt russel but hes to old so i agree leave the classic alone unless you get somone who can be believable as snake then its not somthing i can see myself enjoying but ya never know they might change it up just dont make another doomsday…

  17. I think Renner is awesome at what he does, but remaking a cult film like this is a waste of time.

    I certainly won’t pay to see it.