Kurt Russell’s Blockbuster Remake Gender-Swapping His Character?

John Carpenter says he has heard that the remake of Escape from New York gender-swaps Kurt Russell's character Snake Plissken.

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

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Kurt Russell in Escape from New York

The original Escape From New York is one of John Carpenter’s finest movies, and that film helped establish Kurt Russell as a badass Hollywood star. But since both Carpenter and Russell returned to create Escape From L.A., there have been no further adventures of Russell’s notorious character, Snake Plisskin. Now, though, the team behind the newest Scream movies wants to create a follow-up film in the franchise, and Carpenter told Variety that “The last I heard was they were developing it where Snake would be a woman.”

The interview is filled with John Carpenter’s trademark dry humor, especially when he notes the irony that he is unlikely to know what different studios and creative teams are even trying to do with his intellectual property. “This is the thing about my career in Hollywood — no one tells me anything,” the director said, before going on to ask if the film has been cast yet. In all likelihood, he was wondering whether or not Kurt Russell was going to be involved in the new film or not.

As it turns out, that’s the big question on fans’ minds as well. When John Carpenter speaks about a genderswapped Snake Plisskin, he is referring to a draft he read that was intended to fully reboot Escape From New York for a new generation. Now, while Radio Silence has lived up to its name and said little about the new project, it seems they are more interested in continuing the franchise with a sequel, which opens the door for Kurt Russell to return to his role as a badass mercenary in a dystopian future.

One thing that does seem certain is that John Carpenter is unlikely to be involved with this movie in a serious way, even if Kurt Russell is personally involved. In the interview, Carpenter lamented that “No one wants me around, and they don’t tell me anything to keep me in the dark” before saying, somewhat bitterly, “It’s safer for them.” This isn’t always the case with follow-ups to Carpenter’s films: he worked very closely with David Gordon Green on the new trilogy of Halloween movies and served as executive producer while composing original music for the films (if you didn’t already know, Carpenter composed the iconic Halloween theme himself).

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Reading between the lines, it seems like John Carpenter doesn’t have the same working relationship with the Radio Silence team as he does with either Kurt Russell or David Gordon Green. It’s also possible that the team has made a deliberate command decision to leave Carpenter out of it in order to create something innovative. While that is a harsh approach that could anger fans, it might prove to be the best way to make sure that a sequel film isn’t just a lame rehash of the original like Escape From L.A. was.

The final possibility is also the simplest: because this project is in such early stages, the Radio Silence team may not have figured out important details such as whether John Carpenter or Kurt Russell would be involved. Carpenter didn’t return to the Halloween franchise properly until he was asked, and there is always a chance that Radio Silence will pull out the chair for Carpenter to be a part of this new movie. Whether the cantankerous director would even sit down, though, is another question altogether.