Leigh Whannell is about to unleash The Invisible Man on audiences, but that’s not the only big genre title he has up his sleeve. Whannell is also attached to write (and possibly direct) an Escape From New York remake, based on John Carpenter’s 1981 classic starring Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken. The original Escape is one of Carpenter’s best-loved films, which means any remake is going to immediately inspire some suspicion from fans. In a new interview, Whannell talked a bit about the Escape remake, and also offered up a great casting suggestion for the new Snake Plissken.
That casting suggestion? Well, it’s a no-brainer: Wyatt Russell, son of Kurt. “[Casting Wyatt Russell] seems like the obvious thing to win the fans over,” Whannell told Joblo. Now, this doesn’t mean Whannell is 100% for sure casting Wyatt Russell (the answer sounds more like a humorous suggestion than a sure-thing). Still, this isn’t the worst idea. Russell did a good job channeling his father in Overlord, so I have no doubt he could bring something to this part, if he wants it.
As for what Whannell is planning for his remake, the filmmaker didn’t offer specifics but did talk about the pressure of returning to such an iconic film. “That is an iconic character and I think that Snake Plissken is a part of people’s childhood and their adolescence,” he said. “It’s near and dear to them. So I would tread very carefully with that.”
“I feel like a property like that doesn’t have the same freedom as maybe something like The Invisible Man does. He has more elasticity as a character because so many people have had their fingerprints on that. There’s been TV shows and comic books, whereas with Escape from New York, we’re talking about one definitive movie here and you don’t want to mess with it. We’ll see what happens.”
The original Escape From New York was set in the then-future year of 1997, where New York has been walled-off and turned into a giant island prison. When the President of the United States accidentally crash-lands on the island, the powers-that-be send in prisoner Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) to save him. It’s one of Carpenter’s best flicks, and spawned a goofy-but-enjoyable sequel, Escape From L.A.
While I’m not averse to remakes, I always feel a little less-enthused when someone attempts to remake Carpenter. His films work so well because they’re his – it’s not easy to remake that. That said, I’m a big fan of Whannell’s work, so if anyone has to remake this, I’m glad it’s him.
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