The idea to reboot John Carpenter’s action classic Escape From New York has been rumoured one moment and then shoved back into the realm of myth the next for years now. But Starlog is reporting that Joel Silver’s production company is pushing ahead to make it happen, with a rumoured casting wish list for the new Snake Plissken that includes Dan Stevens, Charlie Hunnam and Jon Bernthal.
This remake has been strolling around the development compound for ages now, snarling at the gatekeepers and crushing cigarette butts beneath its booted feet. Silver, out stumping for Non-Stop earlier this year, likened some of the thinking on the current version to DC video game Arkham City, exploring how Manhattan became the prison we see in Carpenter’s 1981 movie. The idea right now is to feed elements of Snake’s background and the history of New York’s current state into the character via brief glimpses of Snake’s PTSD.
According to Starlog’s sources – which must still be treated as unofficial and therefore firmly in rumour territory – the new treatment has for a long time had more of a team element than ever before, with Snake joined on his endeavours to rescue the stranded US president by Mina, a warzone journalist now living as a scavenger, Cabbie the schizophrenic travel guide (played by Ernest Borgnine in the Carpenter film), Gareth, the last survivor of the President’s security and The Brain, Plissken’s former partner-in-crime (a version of whom cropped up in the original played by Harry Dean Stanton).
Hunnam is reportedly the top choice, though he’s been filling his film plate up recently with the planned Pacific Rim sequel and a potential role in Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur adventure, which may make him unavailable. Stevens will, we suspect, move up the list of people's favourites after The Guest arrives and Bernthal, still best known for The Walking Dead, is also a strong contender.
It’s still early days for this take, and none of the details are solid yet. But it appears Silver Pictures is starting to look for a director to tackle what the producer is hoping will kick off a franchise.