John Carpenter’s 1981 release Escape From New York is still considered a classic masterpiece 40 years after it was first released for its innovative use of science fiction to aim a satirical take at the social and political dissent at the time. Kurt Russell’s role as Snake Plissken in the film is seen as one of the most career-defining roles for the actor and enjoys a massive cult following. And if the film’s director is to be believed, the storyline that the film and its sequel i.e., Escape from L.A. follows can still lead to two more sequels.
Escape from New York is set in a futurist dystopian world where the Manhattan Island in New York City has been converted into a maximum-security prison to accommodate the 400% spike in crime rate in the United States of America. In 1997, Air Force One taking the President of the U.S. to a peace summit is hijacked by insurgents and crashed in New York City. After the police are unable to rescue him, ex-soldier and current federal prisoner Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) is tasked to free the President in 24 hours and get a presidential pardon for his crimes or die once the micro-explosives injected in him sever his carotid arteries.
The Kurt Russell film was a commercial success with majorly positive reviews and became a cult classic. While the sequel didn’t receive the same success and was a box-office bomb, it too enjoys cult status to date such that there have been plans to continue the franchise. And the original films’ director, John Carpenter, is more than willing to see the story he started to continue further. In a recent chat with Total Film (via GamesRadar), Carpenter shared that it was Kurt Russell who convinced him to make the sequel of Escape from New York as he was very fond of his character, Snake Plissken. And the director is convinced that there is a third and probably film that could continue Snake’s story.
Leigh Whannell, who has been roped in to pen the script for the reboot of the film, had also shared his thoughts about the future of Snake Plissken and has admitted that it will take some efforts to fashion a new life for such a character. As Kurt Russell is probably too old to play the character anymore, the search is on for another actor to fill his shoes. Recently, Whannell had shared that he wants Kurt Russell’s son, Wyatt Russell, to play Plissken primarily because he shares a strong resemblance with his father.
But Wyatt, who recently appeared in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier as the government-sanctioned Captain America, has no desire to play Snake Plissken. In a chat with Esquire, Wyatt has established that him playing the character will not only be a bad move for his career but will also turn the loyal fanbase of the film against him. In fact, he finds it hard to imagine that any actor will ever be able to play Plissken with the finesse his father did. Well, there is no arguing there as the credit of Plissken becoming an iconic character indeed goes to Kurt Russell. But again, bigger miracles have occurred and who is to say that another talented actor won’t make the new iteration of the character equally memorable?