Here at GFR, it’s still pretty blasphemous to use the phrase Escape from New York remake, but since Hollywood refuses to give up on it, we’ll just squeeze our eyes shut and hold our breath while saying it as fast as possible. For better or worse, there are rumors that Joel Silver’s production company Silver Pictures has a shortlist of three actors ready to take over the role of Snake Plissken, and none of them are Tom Hardy or Jason Statham. Those rumors also contain details about the film’s plot, which would see Snake heading a team, rather than just beating the shit out of everyone by himself.
But wait, don’t go away moping just yet. According to sources from Starlog, whose news we’re taking with a heaping spoonful of salt, Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam, former The Walking Dead star Jon Bernthal, and Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens are all in the mix to take over the role of cinema’s most iconic eyepatch-wearing badass. I’m going to wait a second before going over these choices to talk a little bit about what Starlog’s sources say about the plot.
This Escape from New York will supposedly see Snake making his way 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.” Nothing too out of the ordinary there. The whole “team” idea, however, bring a few co-leads into the mix.
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.”
With that mess in mind, let’s look at these rumored actors, with hastily scribbled eye patches in place.
Brit actor Charlie Hunnam, who was just brought into Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur movie, has built a career out of shooting first and never bothering with questions as Jax Teller on FX’s always awesome Sons of Anarchy. He hasn’t had as prolific a film career, having turned in okay performances in recent years in The Ledge and Pacific Rim. I like Hunnam, but a gruff voice does not Snake Plissken make.
Bernthal is slowly moving from background actor to co-leading man, with roles in films like Snitch and The Wolf of Wall Street. While he played kind of a badass as Shane in The Walking Dead, he was also kind of a whiner. And we didn’t really get to see enough of TNT’s Mob City before it was cancelled, so it’s up to David Ayer’s upcoming WWII actioner Fury to show us exactly how good Bernthal can be in a role guided by maximum machismo.
Obviously roles in Downton Abbey and Sense & Sensibility aren’t going to give Stevens the proper material to look like a Snake Plissken wannabe. His most recent role in Adam Wingard’s thriller The Guest, however, puts him closer to it. In that film, he plays a hardcore soldier who inserts himself into a family’s life under mysterious pretenses. It’s not saving the President, but the film has gotten almost universal acclaim during its festival run this year.
So who, if any, of these actors sound best to you guys? And what do you think about that whole team-up idea? And whose iced tea do we have to poison in order to get this remake shelved for good?