Leigh Whannell wants to cast Wyatt Russell in his Escape from New York reboot. Russell's father is Kurt Russell, who originally played the iconic Snake Plissken. The reboot of the John Carpenter classic was announced over a year ago and there has not been a lot of updates since the initial reveal. However, Whannell opened up his vision for the movie in a new interview promoting is upcoming movie, The Invisible Man.
When asked about his Escape from New York reboot, Leigh Whannell said, "[Casting Wyatt Russell] seems like the obvious thing to win the fans over." That does seem like the obvious choice, but would Russell be up for the role? Could he be the right choice to fill in for his father in the upcoming reboot? That remains to be seen, but there are more than a few fans who don't believe the classic John Carpenter movie should be touched at all.
Kurt Russell's son Wyatt Russell (The Lodge) has not yet commented on the matter. It seems as if Leigh Whannell is just getting started in the development phase of the reboot. He's been focusing on The Invisible Man, which hits theaters later this month. Once he's done with the promotional tour, he might be able to shift focus to the Escape from New York reboot. He had this to say.
"It's funny, I've been so busy working on this film where I haven't had time to circle back around on that project. Sometimes these press releases go out before you're ready, you're like, 'Don't tell the world!' I don't actually know, I really don't. That is an iconic character and I think that Snake Plissken is a part of people's childhood and their adolescence. It's near and dear to them.
So I would tread very carefully with that. I feel like a property like that doesn't have the same freedom as maybe something like The Invisible Man does. He has more elasticity as a character because so many people have had their fingerprints on that. There's been TV shows and comic books, whereas with Escape from New York, we're talking about one definitive movie here and you don't want to mess with it. We'll see what happens."
The Escape from New York reboot will try to avoid the "bloated tentpole remake path" that afflicted other reboots of classics like Robocop and Total Recall, according to Leigh Whannell. Regardless, Whannell has his work cut out for him, no matter where his intentions are. It will be interesting to see how the reboot is accepted, if at all, when it hits theaters. The writer knows he's going to have to keep some major elements of the original intact for this idea to work at all.
Escape from New York originally hit theaters in 1981, where it made $25.2 million domestically. It was also met with positive reviews from critics and holds an 85% Fresh Rating on Rotten Tomatoes currently. Since its original release, the movie has become a cult classic and is widely regarded as one of John Carpenter's best movies. The interview with Leigh Whannell was originally conducted by JoBlo.