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Russell disapproves of Butler in Escape remake

KurtRussell.jpgKurt Russell has spoken out about the remake of the cult classic Escape From New York and his words are not exactly full of praise. In fact they are rather damning.

He doesn't like the idea of the Scottish Gerard Butler taking over the character he made famous, and he definitely doesn't like the idea of some of his early roles being remade.

Here's some of his rather harsh comments about the remake of Escape:

"...I will say that when I was told who was going to play Snake Plissken, my initial reaction was ''Oh, man!'' [Russell winces]. I do think that character was quintessentially one thing. And that is, American...

...People come up to me and say, ''You played Snake Plissken.'' I didn't play Snake Plissken, I created him!...I did Wyatt Earp — there's only been 50 of those. But I'll tell you what, I'll put my Wyatt Earp up against anybody's. I'll put my MacCready [his character in The Thing] up against anybody's.

When Entertainment Weekly asked him if he would do a cameo in the film he immediately turned down the notion:

F--- that! I am Snake Plissken! It's like Sean Connery always watching someone else do their version of Bond.

Still, he has some good things to say about the film, but his version again:

It's a quiet, dark world and it revolved around watching the behavior of this one guy. He's a fascinating character. In fact, he's the most complex character I've ever played.

You know, part of me thinks he's right. Escape From New York should not be remade, it really is of a time, a role and a specific actor. However, never say never because I'm sure there are ways it could work.

I think we'll have to wait and see, but it is fair to say that Russell will not be waiting, seeing or starring in the remake at all.



Oh Richard, Just when I thought I was out, you pull me back in! :)

I know I just told you I was signing off but I cant leave the comment for this one until tomorrow. I just revisited Escape from New York this week and I might have to recant my last comment that I dont mind seeing Butler play Snake - and this is despite the fact that I have no connection to this movie at all.

Those were harsh comments indeed and although I see his point but then again, who says a remake of this film would never work?

I hate to agree with Russell,but he OWNS Snake, he made him real and it does not matter who wrote it.

Gerard Butler OWNS Leonidas and always will, no matter how many times it is redone.

I wish that Butler would breath life into some more characters that he could own... at the rate of 5 a year would be good for me, just kidding... 2 or 3 really unique ones would do.

Sorry Kurt but it's time to move over, you had your time! What about the actors who fake British accents, that's why they call them ACTORS! It is now GERARD's time who has great acting skills, looks, charisma and brains!!!!!

Sorry, Kurt. Perhaps your negative reaction is due to the fact that you are pretty much a has-been. ("Poseidon" anyone? I can see why you would be against remakes after that debacle.) Gerard Butler is ten times the actor you are. He can do an American accent better than many Americans.

Mr. Russell, you are no Sean Connery.

Talking of accents, I watched the 300 trailer yesterday and found myself wondering why one of the Greek characters sounded like Fat B****** from the Austin Powers movies when he was shouting.

I'm not joking (or just winding Simone up) here either.

I really don't like Plissken being played by a Brit only an American can carry than kind of character off.

"Perhaps your negative reaction is due to the fact that you are pretty much a has-been."

Russell has probably never been quite an A List name but he has a career going back over 40 years to his child star days. I don't think he has too much to complain about. He has always been fond of the Snake character and keen to reprise the role. It's quite understandable for him to be upset at the role being given to a totally miscast actor.

I don't blame Kurt for his comments at all - he IS Snake Plissken. I love Gerard as an actor, but I don't like that he's going to play Snake...and I would feel this way about ANY actor cast in the role. I'm actually proud of Kurt when he said he wouldn't appear as a cameo in the film.

Kurt is not a "has been" he had a long standing career and is much loved by fans. I can't wait to see him in Grindhouse! :)

When the first trailer emerges it's going to have to REALLY impress me in order to get me to think about going to see the movie.

"Talking of accents, I watched the 300 trailer yesterday and found myself wondering why one of the Greek characters sounded like Fat B****** from the Austin Powers movies when he was shouting."

LOL @ Morbius. I agree!
There are times his accent was a little bit distracting and out of place. It's not a big enough deal to change how I feel about the movie, but it did make me crack a smile a couple of times.

"He can do an American accent better than many Americans."

I'm sorry, but I have never understood this type of comment. How do you figure? Unless you're refering to someone who insists on speaking ebonics how does Gerard speak in a better American accent than say myself or my brother or anyone else who was born and raised here?
He can do an American accent well, but I think to say he does it better than an American is a little over the top. Sorry - but that comment offended me a little bit. :)

I love Gerry and all but what he could probably still do is work on toning down his accent for it not to be too obvious and distracting to some, although I contend that in 300 it has been toned down a little bit. How do I know? Because I have seen almost ALL of the films he was in before 300 and believe me it has somehow improved. Now take for example another Scotsman, Kevin McKidd, who plays Vorenus in HBO's Rome, because of years of training, you can't actually hear even a slight Scottish accent from his portrayal of Vorenus.

Oh, please. Hollywood never tires of making remakes, and Russell was in the remake of Poseidon Adventure. So, he needs to chill.

I think a good vocal coach could get Butler's American accent down. Just think how great a Yank accent Aussie Russell Crowe manages (another of my fave actors).

Butler can get the Snake attitude down, and with work, the accent. That's all that matters, anyway--making you believe in the tough, against-the-odds, larger-than-life character. And Gerry can do that.

Kurt, take a nap.


I think Kurt's remarks ARE a bit harsh, but it is a bit sad that there is so little creativity left in Hollywood that they have to remake Escape from New York. I understand why Russell is pissed also. Russell is Snake Plissken in a way, and he has a great cult fan base. Having a new actor take the role will steal some thunder that was created by Russell himself.

Sounds like Mr. Russel might have some jealous issues going on here. Gerard Butler has worked very hard on every role he has assumed. Huis work is excellent and anyone that interviews him says he's one of the nicest guys in the business. He has paid his dues! He now deserves stardom and what ever comes with it, including being offered this role.
Jeanne Maranos of Clevleand, Ohio USA

Gerard Butler has worked very hard on every role he has assumed. Huis work is excellent and anyone that interviews him says he's one of the nicest guys in the business. He has paid his dues! He now deserves stardom and what ever comes with it, including being offered this role.
Jeanne Maranos of Clevleand, Ohio USA

I think John Carpenter might take exception to Kurt claiming that he "created" Snake Plissken. Actors do it frequently, but it's still bad form to take sole credit, which rightly belongs mainly--or at least--equally to the writers.

Why can't we have another outing with Kurt? You could get away with and older grizzled Snake. Look at the trailer for Grindhouse and tell me it wouldn't work. But first we need to get Carpenter to put down the bong for 6 months.

I would go see it in a heartbeat.

Whatever film Gerard makes I'm all for it. I know because I can trust him. Like what he said before making 300. If he gets this role, he said he will kill it! And he did. I don't have to mention all the praises that went to 300 lately. But as far as Kurt Russell is concern being mad, let him. He'll cool down later on, if he doesn't, then he's got a big problem acting like a child who tries to take away his favorite toy from him. Grow up, kiddo! Move over! We want Gerard all the way. He's a sweetheart!

If you really have to remake this film then Josh Holloway from Lost is the only person that comes close. But really... fuck that... Kurt or no one...

Lars- you have a honest good comment. I am stated above as to saying I would feel the same about ANY actor cast to reprise this role, but you know what, if Josh Holloway was cast I would be apt to accept it.

Again, no offense to Gerard, I love him, but in my opinion he is not for this role. He can prove me wrong and I would welcome it, but it will not be an easy task.

Richard - forgive me for what I am about to say...I'm not trying to start trouble, but I'm feeling a bit strongly about this.

To all those saying Kurt should "grown up" or [Gerard is a proven actor] I must say - Take yourself outside of the box. Your love for him, in my oppion, clouds your view. Even Simone (sorry, girl for putting you in this) has taken an object view in her support (but she still supports him!) for Gerard in this role.
To those who have taken this "he can do no wrong he will own this role" opinion I would like to know have you seen Escape From New York or are you simply saying Gerard can do this role because he can do no wrong? Honestly, that is the impression I get. If you've not seen the movie then go watch it. Yes, it's cheesy, yes it's a B movie, but it's an ultimate B movie and classic cult film.
I don't like to assume, but I am gong to... You have no idea the nostalgia that goes along with this film and that is what gets fans riled up. And it's why you have supporters of Kurt and his comments.

Even Simone (sorry, girl for putting you in this) has taken an object view in her support (but she still supports him!) for Gerard in this role.

[[[Meli]]] ;)

The thing is I barely remember the film as I saw it when I was young, so when Richard broke the news and we had that initial reaction, I added it to my rental queue straight away to see any justification for Gerard's casting and although I love Gerry, I can understand why this film should just be left alone.

This might be even good for Gerry in the long run, just focus on doing new films and make the character his own. Now if this is definitely going to be remade, I will go and see it but will not help to compare Gerry's version to Kurt Russell which I thought was great.

Actually, 300 is just another remake. As far as I know, there's a movie from the 60's (if I'm not wrong) about the Thermopylae war. So there was another Leonidas before Gerry's. The thing is that I don't see the point in keeping an actor/actress from a role just because someone else did it first, someone else who thinks the character it's his or hers.

The reason I think this movie (Escape from New York) shouldn't be made again, is because it's such a bad movie, very cheesy indeed.

I like a lot Gerard Butler's acting style so, if this is finally made, I'll go and watch it hoping they make it better.

Ana you are spot on, The 300 Spartans.

Every time I watch the Devil's rejects I say to myself that Rob Zombie should be the guy that remakes Escape from New York. I like his film style as it has allot of that good old' 70's grit, dark humor and just enough dark side to pull off an effective remake. Off the topic of EFNY for a second, when I saw Watchmen I was floored to see the World Trade Center standing tall where it used to be in the NYC skyline. Granted it was an alternate 1985 and they had to be there to complete the feel of New York in that time. My point here is when I saw those two towers staring out at me from the screen I felt very happy to see them there, not offended in the least. It was like seeing an old friend and it just about brought a proud tear to my eye. With this being said the WTC should be put back into the remake of Escape. There are tons of reference photo's and the inside and outside can be masterfully recreated and matted onto green screen. Imagine Snake running outside the Trade Center looking the way it should have all along. Not some crappy building in LA pretending to be the WTC. Get my point?

Back to Mr. Zombie. If you are listening, you have to be the guy that remakes Escape from New York. Who will play "Snake Plissken" you ask? Well let me tell you. Josh Holloway from Lost is the obvious and only choice. This guy is perfect for the role and I don't want to hear otherwise. No Butler, or wrestler look a like wanna be just Holloway hands down.

"The Duke" should be played by Ving Rhames he would be a very badass Duke. Already the two opposing characters are creating havoc just thinking how awesome they will look on film.

William Forsyth should without a doubt be "Bob Hauk"talk about a real mother for the police commissioner. He won't take any shit from Snake.

"The President" should be played by Terry O' Quinn another great actor who just happens to be on Lost with Josh Holloway. O'Quinn can play a president who fought in a war himself and can take care of himself, might come in handy during the escape don't you think. Fighting side by side with Plissken would be an inevitable change from the clownish portrayal by Donald "Halloween" Pleasance. Still love ya Donald R.I.P. Dr. Loomis.

Sid Haig would bring a very interesting quality to the character of "Cabbie", and Haig having played all kinds of sicko's would bring a level of believability to the character and he would look great behind the wheel of a checkered cab.

Bill Moseley would be an excellent "Brain" He would give Snake back some shit if he gave it to him. I would like to see a world where although Snake is a real bad hombre, that he just can't walse in and take over the joint. It shouldn't be a cake walk where he could just walk down the middle of the street at night no less assembling his Mac 10 and nothing happens to him. It has to be a struggle till the end. Moseley will add that dimension to Brain, he just doesn't figure out things for "The Duke" like making gas and reading maps, there is a reason why him and Snake weren't boy scouts on the outside and that should come forth.

As far as the rest of the cast which includes "Maggie" I like Selma Blair, or Vanessa Ferlito. Ferlito has that dirty little sex appeal quality that made her really hot in "Death Proof" at least to me. And Blair is a lot less streetwise but would pull it off I believe, especially after portraying Stevie Wayne in the remake of "The Fog" The movie itself was horrible, but she was quite good. Maggie is a strong female character not just the boobs that The Duke gave to brain to squeeze. "See what I mean?"

I also think that Danny Trejo should play one of the main Gypsy hoods, or be in the film as one of the Duke’s heavies for sure.

Romero is up in the air, but I think that John Leguizamo can pull it off nicely.

Slag should be played by Kane of the WWE. That's about it people. So Mr. Zombie you have to remake Escape from New York. Nuff said....


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