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John Carpenter And Kurt Russell Reunited
John Carpenter And Kurt Russell Reunited
Exclusive: on The Thing, Snake and more

26 March 2013  |  Written by Chris Hewitt  

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Empire's John Carpenter and Kurt Russell Reunion
Photos exclusively shot for Empire by Austin Hargrave

They are one of the most legendary actor/director partnerships of all time – the duo behind Escape From New York, The Thing and Big Trouble In Little China, to name but three. They are, of course, John Carpenter and Kurt Russell, and we’ve reunited them in the new issue of Empire (on sale this Thursday).

It’s been 17 years since they last worked together, on their second Snake Plissken movie, Escape From LA, and about four or five since the old friends were in the same room. So they were naturally overjoyed to see each other at our photoshoot in LA on March 7, quickly slipping into the old routine and, over the course of two hours, unleashing a stream of astonishing anecdotes and, particularly in Russell’s case, room-shaking laughter. “We just have a good time together, as you can see,” explains Carpenter. “We make each other laugh a lot.”

Pick up the new issue of Empire for the full Carpenter/Russell story, including never-heard-before and often hilarious tales of the gruelling making of their masterpiece The Thing, including a hair-raising near-death experience for Russell and the rest of the cast before filming had even begun; the marketing disasters that put paid to Big Trouble In Little China; and the magnificent genesis of Snake Plissken.

The interview took place a week or so before news of the Snake Plissken/Escape From New York reboot, with which neither Carpenter or Russell are involved. But we did ask them both about the prospect of a third Escape From… movie, which we can now bring to you exclusively.

“Could I do it again?” asks Russell, shaking his head. “No.”. Carpenter interjects: “He could do Old Snake.” Russell sighs. “I never wanted to do Snake old.” “Why not?” asks Carpenter. “If you’re going to do him,” expands Russell, “do him young. He’s one of those guys.”

Carpenter nods. “They got people working on trying to put together Escape From New York, and they don’t know where they’re going with it.” Russell laughs, heartily. “It’s been done! Guess what, guys, it’s been done. 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.”

It’s far too early in the process for the Snake reboot to tell who that might be, but Gerard Butler, who was once linked with the role, seems out of the picture. Russell once famously said that he didn’t think Butler was right for the role, something he was keen to clarify during our interview.

“There are two guys who really do know Snake Plissken and the Escape world,” says Russell. “Number one, John. Number two, me. When it comes to Snake, I can tell you one thing... he’s American. 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! I thought Gerard Butler was great in 300.

“The problem is not Snake, you can find a good Snake,” continues Russell, before unveiling his grand plan for the franchise. “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.”

empire jj abrams issue star trek into darkness fold out cover

To read more from Kurt Russell and John Carpenter, and to see more amazing shots from our reunion photoshoot, pick up the new issue of Empire (with J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek on the cover), on sale Thursday for print and iPad.

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Your Comments

If John and Kurt would get together for another movie that would be fantastic. Maybe even another Escape From. An older Snake would be cool. Escape From Las Vegas? Escape From Chicago? Escape From Miami? Escape From Houston? Or maybe a completely different kind of project. Sure would be great to see these guys working together again! More

Posted by Chaarles at 09:50 on 03 May 2013 | Report This Post

Err..but John Carpenter's The Thing was a remake in the first place! More

Posted by markbick at 08:05 on 07 April 2013 | Report This Post

Get them both together for an older Snake film. That would be so cool. Look how good Clint Eastwood still is. Russell could totally pull it off again. Please. More

Posted by Tenacious P at 22:12 on 31 March 2013 | Report This Post

So the deal with the remake is that they know they're going to remake it... but they have no plan, no direction for it... That's sure to produce a good film! More

Posted by Clingfilm at 13:55 on 31 March 2013 | Report This Post

John Carpenter has really taken his liking of Big Trouble to a new height.... I can't beliee he's had surgery to make him look like old 'David Lo Pan' ;-) More

Posted by shitneck at 18:39 on 30 March 2013 | Report This Post

Escape from LA was absolute shite! I want to see original films not regurgitated, watered down crap. There is no shortage of amazing sci-fi (and any other genre) source material, ffs try reading a copy of 2000ad and you've got a dozen ideas never before seen on the big screen! HAVE SOME FUCKING IMAGINATION FOR A CHANGE! And do something NEW, like Escape from NY, the Thing and big trouble in little china, all of them were, and are still, fantastic movies BECAUSE they were original. More

Posted by Gram Woods at 22:47 on 28 March 2013 | Report This Post


Posted by Gram Woods at 22:41 on 28 March 2013 | Report This Post

Funny comment by Kurt
Right, so when the main chracter is american it's really important to KEEP him american. But otherwise americans dont care that much. "Yeah, we're gonna redo Hamlet but we're gonna make him AMERICAN!", "Yeah, it's a movie about the war of the roses - but set in the old west!", "Yeah it's Harry Potter - but in a high school setting" etc. More

Posted by heimdal8 at 23:29 on 27 March 2013 | Report This Post

Funny comment by Kurt
Right, so when the main chracter is american it's really important to KEEP him american. But otherwise americans dont care that much. "Yeah, we're gonna redo Hamlet but we're gonna make him AMERICAN!", "Yeah, it's a movie about the war of the roses - but set in the old west!", "Yeah it's Harry Potter - but in a high school setting" etc. More

Posted by heimdal8 at 22:58 on 27 March 2013 | Report This Post

Looking forward to reading this article in the new Magazine! More

Posted by Hugh_Fran at 16:57 on 27 March 2013 | Report This Post

McKay and Ferrell should reboot Escape From New York as a comedy (a la Starsky & Hutch) with Danny McBride as Snake. Or a Jamaican remake of The Thing called The Ting. More

Posted by FoxDhoj at 01:41 on 27 March 2013 | Report This Post

Escape From Graceland
"Room-shaking laughter" from Kurt Russell. Yes, his OTT laugh always reminded me of the Predator's cackle in the jungle as Schwarzenegger runs for his life at the end of the movie. Kurt and John should reunite for a sequel to the Elvis movie they did. This time focusing on the last years of Elvis's life up to his death, that would be interesting. More

Posted by BenTramer at 22:52 on 26 March 2013 | Report This Post

No Escape remake, but...
... If it MUST happen then Josh Holloway is perfect for Snake, PER. FECT. More

Posted by Craigmustdie at 20:26 on 26 March 2013 | Report This Post

Escape From LA
Look I love these guys; adore the Thing in particular. But c'mon, if they are the only guys that could make a decent Escape film what's the excuse for the 2nd one then? Every director is capable of cocking it up folks! More

Posted by echofalls at 19:01 on 26 March 2013 | Report This Post

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