Last week we learned that “Sons of Anarchy” star Charlie Hunnam was being considered for the lead in a 6-picture deal about the legend of King Arthur and now we hear he’s wanted for the “Escape from New York” reboot. According to Contact Music on Sept. 1, Hunnam is up against “Downton Abbey’s” Dan Stevens for the role once owned by Kurt Russell. Also in contention for the role is “the Walking Dead’s” Jon Bernthal.
“Escape from New York” is a John Carpenter classic from 1981. Kurt Russell had the lead role as Snake Plissken, as an ex-special forces soldier turned criminal sent into a walled-off New York City which serves as the nation’s maximum security prison, to rescue the President after his place crashes within its boundaries.
Plissken is injected with microscopic explosives that will detonate in 24 hours and blow up his carotid arteries if he doesn’t return with the President and a vital cassette tape he is carrying. If he succeeds, his record will be wiped clean of his past crimes. If not, ka-boom. The original “Escape from New York” also starred Adrienne Barbeau, Lee van Cleef, Harry Dean Stanton and Ernest Borgnine in memorable roles. The film has achieved cult status over the years.
The new version, according to Starlog, is more of a team-based action movie. The cite a source as saying “Plissken’s team consists of Mina, a warzone journalist framed for murder and living in the shadows of New York as a scavenger; Cabbie, a schizophrenic travel guide who serves as comic relief; Gareth, the last surviving member of the President’s security detail who harbors a dangerous secret; and The Brain, Plissken’s former partner-in-crime who left him to die after a botched robbery.” Many of these characters resemble characters from the original film. They may just have more of a role this time.
The project is envisioned as trilogy. Plissken’s past will be downplayed in the first film. According to Starlog’s source, “Snake’s past will be seen in brief glimpses throughout the film, blending into his reality via Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”
The reboot has been in the works since 2010. Other names that have been linked to the anti-hero role are Jeremy Renner and British actors Jason Statham and Tom Hardy.
The film is being produced through Silver Pictures. Breck Eisner, Len Wiseman and Brett Ratner have all been linked to the project as director over the years but as yet, no one has been signed to direct the sci-fi thriller. Word on the director should be released by the end of the year.