There are plenty of dead-end projects that could have been awesome if they’d actually come together — that Buckaroo Banzai sequel, David Cronenberg’s Total Recall, the Rendezvous with Rama movie Morgan Freeman has been trying to get made for 15+ years — but as a gamer, this one stings. Footage from an abandoned video game and anime-style TV series starring the legendary Snake Plissken has popped up online, and it makes me sad, sad, sad.
The video above was posted by a former developer for Namco, who were responsible for 2003’s Dead to Rights and 2004’s Kill Switch. Called Snake Plissken’s First Escape, the game was first announced back in 2003, and set for release in “2005 A.D.” The game would have borrowed Kurt Russell’s likeness — it’d be pretty damn pointless if it didn’t — but there’s no word if he would have returned to voice the iconic character. He did approve the game’s storyline, along with director John Carpenter and Escape from New York/L.A. producer Debra Hill.
It’s no surprise that Carpenter was involved in giving the game’s development a thumb’s up — he’s actually a gamer himself. And while video game adaptations of existing movies and TV shows don’t have the best track record, with Russell, Carpenter, and Hill signing off on the storyline, we might have got something worthwhile after all. For instance, the Riddick videogame spinoffs Escape from Butcher Bay and Assault on Dark Athena were both really enjoyable and still hold up today. Sadly, we’ll never get to play a badass Snake Plissken game — at least not this one.
And while the game may or may not have been a creative or financial success, the prospect of a Plissken animated series is even more enticing. The folks at Ain’t It Cool got their hands on a ton of concept art from the aborted series. Seriously, somebody kick on Kickstarter and resurrect this thing, stat. Sadly, it’s far more likely that we’ll just get an Escape from New York remake at some point, because Hollywood will ignore one of life’s great truths at their peril: you can’t replace Kurt frickin’ Russell.