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Are Jason Statham and Tom Hardy in contention to play Snake Plisskin in the Escape From New York remake?

03.26.2013

A while back there was talk of an ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK remake involving Gerard Butler, who would take on the role of Snake Plisskin, made famous by the gravely-voiced Kurt Russell in John Carpenter's 1981 classic.  That quickly went away when New Line lost the rights, but now that Joel Silver has them in his mitts, the reboot train is about to leave the station and according to NY Daily News, there are already two stars in line to take on the eye-patch mantle; Jason Statham and Tom Hardy.

As a big fan of the original (and a moderate fan of the lackluster sequel), I'm not really excited about either choice, but if I had to pick one it would have to be Hardy.  He's still new enough not to bring a stigma with him, whereas Statham is just too...Statham.  I like the guy, but I'd rather he not come in and make a mess of such an iconic character. NY Daily New's source had this to say about Statham:

“Jason is the type of actor who has the physical attributes and screen presence to reprise Snake. He has a proven track record as a leading man and would do a great job.”

Hardy has proven a bit more range as well, given his work in WARRIOR, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, and LAWLESS (I still haven't seen BRONSON...I know, I know), while Statham has shown that he can beat a bunch of guys up at once. The inside source had a similar perspective, saying:

“Tom was immense in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and deserves to get a break in a top role. This could put him firmly in the A-list"

I don't know how the role of Snake Plisskin puts you in the A-list.  He's an awesome character and one of my favorites, but he was always a cult B-list hero.  It's not a career-making role in my opinion.  Hardy is also starring in this year's MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, which is essentially an Australian Snake Plisskin, so I'm not sure taking on the American version will really do him any favors. However, the film is on the fast track, according to the source, which states:

“Studio Canal wants to make sure they get one of the two men before the summer."

The whole thing just feels unnecessary, but if they're going to do it, I hope they can pull it together and make something fresh, while remaining true to the original concept. Otherwise, this will just go down as another failure to launch.  A director could make or break this one, too, but don't expect a big name to tackle a reboot of an '80's cult actioner.

Extra Tidbit: All right, gang, you know the drill. Who should be Snake Plisskin? I vote for Kurt Russell in a sequel, rather than a reboot. Too old my ass.
Source: NY Daily News

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