Production appeared to be lagging, but now it seems to be moving ahead on Silver Pictures and StudioCanal’s reboot of “Escape from New York.” The 1981 John Carpenter film is a favorite among fans who enjoyed the escapades of anti-hero Snake Plissken. The role turned Kurt Russell from a Disney darling into one of Hollywood’s first action stars. It is reported that the formula for the remake will not only follow Plissken, but a team of criminals prompted into working with him.
Still in its early pre-production phase with no director officially attached, website STARLOG has learned that “Escape from New York” 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.”
The emphasis in the new script is to develop the supporting characters from the original film into co-leads with Snake Plissken as the leader. Here is a guide for the reboot’s characters.
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.
The Brain – Plissken’s former partner-in-crime who left him to die after a botched robbery.
So, the ultimate question is, who will play Snake Plissken? Starlog has indicated that Silver Pictures has a shortlist of actors who would be ideal to fill the role. The list has been narrowed down to three: Charlie Hunnam (“Sons of Anarchy,” “Pacific Rim,”) Jon Bernthal (“The Walking Dead,”) and Dan Stevens (“The Guest.”) While none of the three have read for the part, an offer will be made “any day now.” Hunnam is considered to be the favorite since the motorcycle club series “Sons of Anarchy” has ended its’ run. Presently, Hunnam is considered a hot commodity in Hollywood with director Guy Ritchie wanting him for the title role in “King Arthur” and his commitment to filmmaker Guillermo del Toro to reprise his role as Raleigh Becket for “Pacific Rim 2.”
In the meantime, Silver Pictures has commissioned pre-production artwork from independent artists featuring Hunnam as the anti-hero with the eye patch. Perhaps producer, Joel Silver, is fishing for someone to co-finance the film at this year’s AFM (American Film Market.) The production company is hopeful that “Escape from New York” will be the first in a trilogy of action films.
While the script is being rewritten to explore and flesh out the characters, Snake’s origin will be played down. According to Starlog’s source, “Snake’s past will be seen in brief glimpses throughout the film, blending into his reality via Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”
As far as a director is concerned, talks are still “too early” in the process, but a “definitive answer” will be given before the end of the year.
Starlog indicates the film will carry “a dark tone,” and have a sci-fi element to it, but be “less tech-based, and more of a gun-and-run thriller.” The producers hope to cash in on the popularity of team based films such as “The Avengers,” “The Expendables” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Sources: Starlog, IMDb