Wyatt Russell reveals that he would never take over his father’s iconic role as Snake Plissken in the upcoming Escape From New York reboot.
Wyatt Russell revealed that he would never take over the role of Snake Plissken in the upcoming Escape From New York reboot. The original 1981 John Carpenter film has maintained a strong cult following since its release. Set in a futuristic and crime-ridden alternate 1997, the film follows Plissken as he’s given 24 hours to rescue the President of the United States after Air Force One crashes into New York City, which has been turned into a maximum-security prison by the government. Escape From New York stars Kurt Russell as Plissken, in what many consider to be one of his defining roles. The film was followed up by Escape From L.A. in 1996, but received a mixed critical reaction and failed to make its budget back at the box office.
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Rumblings of an Escape From New York remake have been floating around Hollywood for decades, with Robert Rodriguez even set to direct a Carpenter-produced reboot back in 2017. Rodriguez eventually dropped out of the project, and the most recent attempt at an Escape From New York reboot comes from Upgrade director Leigh Whannell. Whannell began writing the script in 2019, with Fox giving him the option to direct the film if he chooses. Whannell had stated that he would like to get Wyatt Russell to play Plissken, as he is not only Kurt Russell’s son but also strongly resembles his father during the Escape From New York period.
Speaking to Esquire, Russell stated that he would never choose to play Plissken in a potential Escape From New York reboot. Russell said that it would be a horrible choice for his career and cites how iconic his dad is in the role, arguing that no one else might even be able to play Plissken. The actor also expressed concerns that the hardcore Escape From New York fanbase would turn against him. Check out his full comment below:
That will not be happening. There will be no Snake reboot from me. I don’t know if anybody else could be Snake Plissken. I just don’t know how its possible. For me, if I really wanted to get people sending me hate mail I think that’s what I should do. I will not be ever doing anything like that.
Russell’s concerns about angering fanbases aren’t unfounded. The actor has seen a surge in popularity recently by his appearance in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, where he plays a government-sponsored Captain America after Sam Wilson chooses not to take over the mantle. Russell’s character, John Walker, has been met with a firestorm of controversy from fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, both in and against Walker’s favor.
Given Russell’s experience with a passionate fanbase after picking up Captain America’s shield, it makes sense that he would be unsure about donning the mantle of another popular movie character. Not to mention that, like many children of popular artists, Russell probably devoted a huge amount of his early career getting out of his father’s shadow. Given the darkness Russell has shown in The Falcon and the Winter Solider, he probably could pull off Plissken fairly successfully. But, considering he doesn’t want to, there are a huge number of actors who could convincingly slip into the role. While Russell won’t be stepping into his father’s shoes anytime soon, we can only hope that the Escape From New York reboot finds the right Snake Plissken.
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