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[Movies] Kurt Russell Doesn't Think Escape From New York Should Be Remade
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 02.19.2014

Kurt Russell recently spoke with IGN about his career, the planned Escape From New York remake and more. Check out the highlights:

On not looking back on his work: "I love it when I'm doing it. And I try to really realize that this is the only opportunity I'm going to get to do this. It's the only opportunity I'm going to get to put on it film, and hopefully, it's long over when somebody says, 'What is this? Big Trouble in Little China -- let's check this out.' Then they go, 'Wait a minute, when was that made? What were those guys doing? That was great!' I do think that I was aware of the stuff we were doing. I've often been aware of things that I've done that we knew at the time wasn't necessarily going to catch the zeitgeist of what was going on, you know, in a popular sense. Nor was it going to catch the eye of the critic or the reviewer in terms of being story-worthy or being worthy of anything other than a sarcastic comment about a dystopian world, dismissing it because they didn't look at it as anything else. It's like, 'Sorry you bit into the donut, you took a bite, you didn't love it, and now you're kind of miffed, because there are lots of people who like that whole donut, man. As a matter of fact, it's their favorite donut. You didn't get it, what can I say?' They didn't get it."

On the Escape From New York reboot: "There's nothing wrong with the concept of doing something. I just think that my only thing about that is, when I think of remakes -- and I've done remakes that I didn't think should have been done -- I only think remakes make sense if you take an idea that was flawed, a script that was flawed, perhaps they didn't have enough money to make it correctly, maybe a character or two was not particularly well-played or could be fixed. If it had a problem that you'd say, 'God, if you just do that, that's a great movie,' or, 'If that movie had so-and-so in it, it could be great! Imagine that with so-and-so in it. Imagine that done this way.' Then that to me makes perfect sense as to why they would do a remake. When you get into deeper trouble is when you do a remake just because you loved something, and you now want to ignore why you loved it. When you get into deeper trouble is when you do a remake just because you loved something, and you now want to ignore why you loved it, and you want to see it again fresh, and you get away with the idea of thinking, 'Well, these audiences haven't seen that.' Then the minute you do that, there's still enough of the -- especially today, with the advent of DVDs, Netflix and stuff like that -- you can still see that original movie right next to the remake, and you say, 'What was the reason for you doing that?' You've got this iconic thing, and you break it down."

On why the movie shouldn't be remade: "If you're talking about Escape from New York, there's a reason that movie is lean like it is. It's Snake's world. It's not just Escape from New York world, it's Snake's world. Well, what's that got to do with it? Well, look what Snake is. Look at who's playing him and what he's thinking. That guy's kinda got him. If you really watch it, he's doing something there that's a little more than I thought at first. I kinda feel bad for him, but he kind of annoys me. I find him slightly obnoxious. But at the same time, if there's a building on fire, I'm gonna get behind that guy. You begin to say, 'Well, so the character has no flaw there. What about the guy playing him? Eh, they kinda like that too.' Why are you making this again? What happens is you begin to get that rat smell. You just think, 'You're just gonna make money.' That's dangerous. I'm the first person to stand in line and say, "Oh, that's a great idea, to take this and do it that way, and take this person and put him in that. That's a great idea! I think that's great.' I don't have a problem with remakes. There's no reason not to do remakes, unless there's a reason not to make a remake. To me, that's what you have to face. Like I said, nobody's got a corner on the market of making or not making remakes. I think there are some movies that could be remade -- and I won't mention them, because I think the acting is stilted. I think the acting is actually stilted -- not that good -- and if you made a remake of it, it could be better. But generally, to me, you should be looking for story flaws that you could fix."

On whether he would play Snake again: "He's a great character. But no, I'm too old. Snake's a man in his prime. He's an American man absolutely in his prime. He's a really good character."

On who could play Snake: "Someone said, 'What about Gerard Butler?' I said, 'Well, the one thing that I can tell you that I know about Snake, and the Snake Plissken world that I know, is that he's very American.' There's a reason that's a baseball bat with nails. It's not a soccer ball. It's a baseball bat with nails. In LA, it's basketball. These are generic to who he is. He's an American. So, to me, it's important I think that, unless you're going to change the dynamic -- and if you're going to change the dynamic, then you're getting into something I'd have to see and say, 'Well, why do you call it Escape from New York?' You gotta understand, when this movie was done, New York was in serious trouble. It was on its way to becoming blown up of its own accord, so why not turn it into a prison? People laughed at the idea. They laughed, because it was, like, 'You know, why not? Turn this sh**-hole into a prison! Let's let the prison airplane go down there, and, oh my God, this is great!' So there are times that are right for certain things. But if somebody's got a great idea, sure! I hope they come up with a great idea."


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