It’s outrageous to think that John Carpenter’s Escape from New York celebrated its 40th anniversary recently. The film has become a cult classic and must-watch for action fans, while its lead character, Snake Plissken, is easily one of the greatest movie characters of all time. However, much like everything in Hollywood, it isn’t immune to the remake treatment.
In 2019, the news broke that Leigh Whannell would be writing the script for an Escape from New York reboot. The intention was made crystal clear: retain what worked in the original but add something unique in the process. Considering that Kurt Russell is 70 years old now, it’s obvious that there will be a need for a new Snake Plissken here. (Though, Russell would certainly be an excellent choice to play the role of Hauk in a reboot.)
For most fans, it’s difficult to imagine anyone else but Russell as Snake. It’s the same feeling as if there was a new Rambo who wasn’t named Sylvester Stallone—it’d be weird. That being said, there is a solution for the Escape from New York reboot that makes a lot of sense and won’t rock the applecart too much: cast Wyatt Russell as Snake Plissken.
At 35, Wyatt is only five years older than his father was when he appeared in Escape from New York. More importantly, he’s a dead ringer for his father in terms of both looks and on-screen presence—something that hasn’t gone unnoticed. Many fans commented on how much Wyatt sounded and acted like his father in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Some even joked that Kurt had done the ADR for his son here!
While Wyatt isn’t quite in the mega-star category that his father was, he has been making a name for himself in the movie biz since his hockey career was cut short in 2010. He hasn’t relied on his family’s recognised name and influence, choosing to carve his own path and show off his action credentials in the likes of Overlord and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
“[Mother, Goldie Hawn, and father, Kurt Russell] did a really good job of making us understand that what you get is earned, not given, and that there’s reward in earning it,” Wyatt told the Off Camera podcast, reaffirming that he believes he needs to prove himself as an actor.
He might not need to prove anything in Escape from New York, though, since he already has experience with the franchise, having an uncredited cameo as an orphan in 1996’s Escape from L.A. Snake Plissken was a role that defined his father’s career and history could repeat itself here. As much as he might try to do things his own way, he could very well be the best person to carry on the legacy now.