It's the Booze Talkin', We want more Snake and Jack Burton from Kurt Russell

Growing up, we all had guys we respected the crap out of. One of those guys for me was Kurt Russell. I always loved the working relationship the actor had with director John Carpenter. The first time I saw THE THING, I was utterly blown away. In fact, all of the Carpenter/Russell collaborations were huge influences on my young life. And of course that includes the wild and wacky BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, plus the brutal world of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK - I’ll add ESCAPE FROM L.A. even though it doesn’t even come close to the original. Either way, the two clearly worked well together, and it also helped make Russell a major force in the world of horror and sci-fi.

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In 1981, Russell joined an impressive cast that included names like Lee Van Clef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Issac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau and Tom Atkins for ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981). The young actor killed it as a modern day badass named Snake Plissken. The story of an eyepatch-wearing bank robber forced to save the U.S. president from the prison that New York had become was a brilliant decent into post-apocalyptic adventure. The actor left an indelible impression as a genre anti-hero - interestingly enough, Kurt showed off his sweet side that same year and voiced a role in THE FOX AND THE HOUND. It was a good year for Kurt, and his tough guy persona carried through into the next year with Carpenter’s THE THING (1982).

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After taking on aliens and saving the president - I forgot to mention Russell as Elvis Presley in the TV-movie directed by Carpenter appropriately titled Elvis - their working relationship continued in 1986 with the cult classic BIG TROUBLE N LITTLE CHINA. Like Snake Plissken, Russell portrayed yet another iconic character in the form of Jack Burton. This crazy flick also featured the lovely Kim Cattrall, Victor Wong, Kate Burton and Dennis Dun, and it was an absolute blast. This was always one of those movies that I’d watch late at night and it made me wish I was Jack Burton. Kurt’s continued kick-ass persona with a touch of John Wayne made for one of the most memorable characters that the actor has ever played. And frankly, with his resume, he’s had a ton of great roles.

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As I briefly mentioned, Russell did return to play Snake Plissken in ESCAPE FROM L.A. and aside from a couple of scenes, it was a bit of a let down. That said, what would Snake Plissken be like in his 60s? What would Jack Burton be in his 60s? I love these guys and everything that Kurt did with them. What kind of world has it become since ESCAPE FROM L.A.? Is Jack Burton still the same smart ass who eventually does the right thing? When you think of sequels, or remakes, I’d frankly love to see Mr. Russell return to playing both. The first time I saw BIG TROUBLE, I had hoped for a continuation as I always got a bit of an Ash from EVIL DEAD vibe with Jack Burton.

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With the successful return of Harrison Ford in STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, and a few other fellas returning to classic roles, it’s not that unheard of in this day and age. Nostalgia is a huge business, and with the recent talk of a BIG TROUBLE remake starring The Rock, I’d frankly rather see Mr. Johnson play another role and have Russell back as Jack. And since we had the less-than-stellar ESCAPE FROM L.A., let’s see a proper sequel for Snake. And if anybody questions whether or not Russell could pull it off, they need look no further than his recent work in THE HATEFUL EIGHT, THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS and of course GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2. I want more of that rough and tumble swagger, and how about we at least get Carpenter involved in either the writing or producing of either flick. I doubt we’ll see him direct again.

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Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but we want Kurt Russell to return to the worlds of Snake Plissken and Jack Burton! We here at Arrow in the Head love both ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA. These two films helped confirm that Kurt Russell was a hero to moviegoers from that generation and beyond, and the actor continues to kill it. Since this business feeds off of remakes and the like, let’s bring these two characters back to the big screen in an inventive way. If Dwayne Johnson is resurrecting BIG TROUBLE, why not include the real Jack Burton? And as for Snake, I’d love to see what Mr. Russell could bring to the role in this modern age.

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Extra Tidbit: What is your favorite Kurt Russell performance?
Source: AITH



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