Just like so many of our other favourite movies from when we’re kids, we’ve (unfortunately) been hearing about a remake of John Carpenter’s cult classic Escape From New York for some time now. Luckily for our constantly attacked nostalgia (that’s right we’re looking at you, Michael Bay), there hasn’t been much momentum from this Joel Silver produced effort. But according to a new rumour that has popped up on Starlog, the wheels have finally started turning.
Their source – who has apparently “gone above and beyond to verify their association to the project” – claims that while no director is attached yet, the remake – which is planned to be the first film in a new trilogy – finally has a proper narrative direction, and it’s not the direction you may remember. While Carpenter’s original had Kurt Russell’s’ Snake Plisken playing the one-man army as he goes into a future Manhattan Island turned prison to rescue the US President whose plane had crashed there, this new version will be “more team-based, as Snake Plissken traverses through a treacherous New York landscape with a rogues gallery of criminals who look to leave the island-turned-prison in exchange for the rescue of the captured U.S. President.”
While Snake is still supposed to be leader of this team, the script has apparently evolved to where the other members went from just being random cohorts to actual co-leads. These other members are also supposed to be a mix of newly created characters as well as a few old ones with a few new twists.
“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.”
But just because Snake has some friends tagging along, doesn’t mean he won’t be the focus. Starlog’s source claims that while his origin story will be downplayed, “Snake’s past will be seen in brief glimpses throughout the film, blending into his reality via Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”
But just who will be stepping into Kurt Russell’s iconic shoes to bring this new Snake to life? According to Starlog, Silver and co have not made an official offer to anybody, but they should rectify that “any day now” and have narrowed it down to three contenders: Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim), Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, The Pacific) and Dan Stevens.
Stevens has been a regular on Downton Abbey for a while now, but he gave his ass-kicking hero credentials a major boost with The Guest, a throwback action movie that had a lot of buzz at Sundance Film Festival. Bernthal has slowly been making a name for himself ever since people really noticed him as the slightly unhinged Shane on The Walking Dead, and may just have the grit to pull this off. However, they may already have lost this race, as according to Starlog’s source, the producers already have their eye on Hunnam, who is about to finish out his last season on AMC’s Sons of Anarchy. Hunnam’s commitment to a Pacific Rim sequel may be a hurdle though, as schedules may not line up, and his recent linking to Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur flick may not help his cause.
That apparently hasn’t stopped Silver and co from commissioning concept art of Hunnam sporting that famous eyepatch, so as to possibly shop the production around to a studio. I’ll be honest though, while the role of Snake is not exactly the most dramatically demanding, and he may have the closest physical resemblance to Russell, I don’t think Hunnam has the chops for this. There’s a certain gritty cool that Russell brought to the role that Hunnam just doesn’t have (if I had to pick from those three, Bernthal would get my nod)
That’s not the only thing that I’m not liking the sound of. While the remake is supposed to have a “dark tone”, this film will apparently be toning down its sci-fi elements to be “less tech-based, and more of a gun-and-run thriller.” If there’s no electro-synth soundtrack and wire-frame 3D graphics, I’m going to inject some microscopic explosives into somebody.
Actually, I may just do that anyway if Silver and co stuff this one up. And if these rumours turn out be true.
Last Updated: September 1, 2014