Fox has signed a deal to reinvent the 1981 cult classic, which starred Kurt Russell

By Steve Helling
Updated January 14, 2015 09:45 AM

Sci-fi fans, rejoice!

Fox has signed a deal to remake the 1981 futuristic action film Escape from New York.

The original John Carpenter-directed film depicts a bleak futuristic world in which Manhattan has been converted into a maximum-security prison. Kurt Russell starred as Snake Plissken, a former soldier who was assigned to rescue the president after Air Force One crashes in New York. If he rescues the president, he saves the world. If he fails, he will explode.

In the 34 years since the film was released, it has become a cult classic. The one problem with the original: It was set in 1997 – futuristic for 1981, but now outdated for modern audiences.

So if Escape is made, who will play the role of Snake? According to Deadline, Charlie Hunnam and Chris Hemsworth are the latest stars rumored to be in contention for the part.

They’re not the first actors who have considered playing Snake. Gerard Butler was attached to the role in 2007 – and Kurt Russell did not approve, telling Entertainment Weekly: “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.”

After Butler dropped out of the project, other stars were considered. Jeremy Renner’s name briefly surfaced in 2010, and in 2013, Jason Statham and Tom Hardy were reportedly vying to play Snake.

Whoever gets the coveted role, they’ll have to impress John Carpenter, who will be an executive producer for the remake and will have creative input over the film. Fox hopes to use the film to kick-start a new franchise.