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‘Escape From New York’ Remake to Star Jason Statham or Tom Hardy?

Escape From New York Tom Hardy or Jason Statham
MGM

Although remaking John Carpenter’s ‘Escape From New York‘ is the kind of thing that makes us quietly shake our heads and contemplate developing a drinking problem, we’ll be the first to admit that sliding an actor like Jason Statham or Tom Hardy into the lead role will go a long way toward alleviating the pain.

According to the NY Daily News (and it’s according to an unnamed “insider,” so take all of this with a grain or two of salt) the two actors are currently being looked at for the role of Snake Plissken, the one-eyed, bad-tempered mercenary that Kurt Russell made iconic back in 1981. Both Statham and Hardy have had plenty of experience in kicking plenty of ass and taking plenty of names (and both would like pretty cool with eye patches), so they feel like natural choices to head up a major action movie.

But there’s one big film nerd problem: they’re not Snake Plissken. They could play him, but they wouldn’t be him. Kurt Russell is Snake. End of story. ’Escape From New York’ is a movie built to show off Russell at his most badass — the movie really only works because of his glowering, steely tough guy performance. There’s a reason the upcoming ‘Evil Dead’ remake chose not to recreate the character of Ash: they knew that role was defined by and belonged to Bruce Campbell. Similar territory here.

Of the two names being floated around for the remake, Hardy is probably the more appealing match simply because he’s a more versatile actor. Statham is a charismatic guy, but he does tend to play the same (admittedly badass) character in every movie. Then again, the guy with the derivative performances may be a better match for a remake of a classic.

If ‘Escape From New York’ is anything like the original, it’ll follow Snake as he attempts to recuse the President of the United States from New York City, which has been walled off and turned into a massive, dangerous prison (though there have been reports this new version will be a Snake “origin story”). It was and remains a fantastically goofy concept. We’ll see how much is changes as the remake moves forward.

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