I know, I know. It's going to be hard to imagine anyone other than Kurt Russell playing the iconic role of Snake Plissken in the [Escape From New York Reboot](movie:896038). However, for better or worse, that seems like an idea we're going to have to get used to.
According to Starlog, a shortlist of three actors who are being considered for the role has just been released by Silver Pictures. Of course, as is often the case with these types of sources, you should consider this information firmly within the rumor-sphere until we get any kind of official confirmation.
According to their sources, Charlie Hunnam, Jon Bernthal and Dan Stevens are all being considered for the famous, eye-patch and sub-machinegun toting anti-hero.
Apparently, Hunnam, is the favorite for the role, although his commitment to [Pacific Rim 2](movie:775756) could throw a spanner in the works. Starlog also suggested an official offer could be made "any day now" despite the fact none of the three have actually read for the role.
However, let's weigh up these three main contenders and see who's best qualified to play Snake Plissken.
Hunnam is certainly a star on the rise. He's about to complete filming of the final season of popular motorbike crime drama, [Sons of Anarchy](series:201186), while he's also made his name in mainstream blockbusters such as monster-vs-robot flick, Pacific Rim.
Stick Hunnam in some long hair and stubble and he almost looks rugged enough to carry the torch for Kurt Russel, while his role as Jax in Sons of Anarchy also shows he can play a criminal without being completely hated.
However, I'd have to say one big plus plus comes from his role as Patric in Alfonso Cuaron's Children of Men. Despite having only a secondary role, Hunnam - who is unrecognizable with his dreadlocks and native Geordie accent - quickly established himself as the prime bastard of the movie - suggesting a future commanding screen presence fitting of Snake. Furthermore, the epic final battle scene shows he's comfortable running and gunning in a dystopian environment. Keep an eye out for him below:
On the downside, Hunnam isn't a native of America, and as such he's going to be putting on an accent. Now, his accent in Pacific Rim was passable, but there were occasions when it wasn't exactly spot on. When portraying Snake, nailing the voice is perhaps the single most important element for bringing the character to life.
Furthermore, despite action-y roles in Children of Men and Pacific Rim, we have yet to really see him as a standalone action icon in a gritty R-rated movie.
Perhaps best known for his role as Shane in The Walking Dead, Bernthal is another predominantly TV actor who is making his way into the movies. Next, you'll be able to see him fight beside Brad Pitt as a tanker in World War II film, [Fury](movie:866294).
Bernthal earned his apocalyptic-action stripes as expert zombie-dispatcher, Shane, in The Walking Dead. Although he could often be seen carrying around a shotgun and blowing the undead away, Bernthal also did a good job of delivering a complex character who - despite his often 'evil' actions and choices - could not be wholly disliked.
This could certainly pay dividends when delivering the dark and troubled character of Snake Plissken. Here he is doing 'what is necessary' below:
Unlike Hunnam, Bernthal still hasn't proven himself as a leading man in his own right. Indeed, the vast majority of Bernthal's previous roles have been in a supporting capacity, and it could be that this is where his expertise lies.
Of course, it might simply be that he hasn't yet been given the opportunity to truly show off his full acting repertoire as a leading man.
Dan is likely to be the name on this list which you least recognize, and in many ways it seems he might be the left-field, wildcard choice. Another British actor, Stevens is probably best known for his portrayal of Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey, although more recently he is appearing in the upcoming action flick, [The Guest](movie:997887).
At first glance, Stevens does not seem like the natural choice for an All-American hero like Snake. He doesn't look particularly rugged, while his filmography does not present a whole lot of action roles. However, it could be his upcoming performance as David in Adam Wingard's The Guest which caught the eye of casting directors. If early reviews are anything to go by, The Guest is likely to be a well-received, kinetic actioner in the vein of Drive. Check out the trailer below:
Unfortunately, the very thing which makes Stevens stand out - his relatively unknown reputation and untapped potential - could be his biggest drawback. If The Guest doesn't turn out to be as good as some are suggesting, there really isn't a whole lot left on his resume which suggests he could pull of Snake. Furthermore, his relative obscurity might count against him if executives are looking for a bigger name to reboot the Escape From New York franchise.
Apart from dropping these three names, Starlog also released a bit more unconfirmed information regarding the story, as well as extra characters we might meet. They claimed the remake would be "more team-based, as Snake Plissken traverses through a treacherous New York landscape with a rogues gallery of criminals who look to leave the island-turned-prison in exchange for the rescue of the captured U.S. President."
It seems this 'team' will consist of Mina, a war journalist who was framed for a murder, Cabbie a 'comic relief schizophrenic', Gareth, the last remaining member of the President's security detail, and The Brain - a former criminal associate of Snake.
Who else would you like to see playing Snake in Escape From New York?
Of these three, who is your favorite to play Snake Plissken?