Kurt Russell On ‘Escape From New York’ Reboot: ‘Snake Must Be American’

Kurt Russell No To Gerard Butler Snake Plissken

Kurt Russell once again opposed a Gerard Butler Snake Plissken for the Escape from New York reboot trilogy planned from producer Joel Silver, according to a recent interview in Empire.

“There are two guys who really do know Snake Plissken and the Escape world,” Russell said. “Number one, John. Number two, me. When it comes to Snake, I can tell you one thing … he’s American.”

Russell continued: “It’s really important that he’s American. There’s a reason why that great fight in the arena [in Escape From New York] is with a baseball bat. That’s American, ok? He knows what he’s doing with that bat in his hand!”

The two-time Plissken joined his Escape director John Carpenter for a reunion photo shoot in which the pair dished stories on their long-time collaborations. This issue is releasing to print and iPad on Thursday, March 28.

In the excerpt published Tuesday, Russell relented in his opposition to a new Snake Plissken. “The problem is not Snake, you can find a good Snake,” Russell said, advising that to do the Escape from New York reboot right, “You gotta get John Carpenter.”

Escape From New York is just weird because of the way he sees the world, man. He sees it slightly off. It’s his world, it’s a night world. This is his thing.”

Whether that’s a possibility, we’ll have to wait and read more of the interview on Thursday or stay tuned to news developments as the project moves forward.

But Carpenter did not seem opposed to revisiting the character in the Empire preview. He did, however, scoff at the idea of Russell returning to the character.

Carpenter said, “No. He could do Old Snake,” to which the actor shook his head.

“I never wanted to do Snake old. … If you’re going to do him, do him young. He’s one of those guys,” Russell said.

(Sorry, Snake fans, don’t expect this to be like the coming Conan film with Arnold Schwarzenegger.)

The interview took place prior to the recent announcement of Silver’s trilogy plans, but Carpenter revealed that people were “working on trying to put it together.”

That’s when some of Russell’s old feelings regarding an Escape from New York reboot really came back. “It’s been done! Guess what, guys, it’s been done.”


Russell continued: “And there’s nothing wrong with it. But what you need now is what John told them then: you need a good young guy who gets the character.”

Considering Russell’s remarks in a 2007 interview with Entertainment Weekly, it appeared Tuesday he had softened a bit to the idea of someone else doing the character.

In the previous interview which was available online through Moviefone, Russell said, “(Expletive) that! I am Snake Plissken … It’s like Sean Connery always watching someone else do their version of Bond. … People come up to me and say, ‘You played Snake Plissken.’ I didn’t play Snake Plissken, I created him!”

Do you agree with Kurt Russell that the lead role has to go to an American? And what are your overall feelings on an Escape from New York reboot?