Friday, June 25, 2010

Could Timothy Olyphant Escape From New York?

All over the web there's talk about the possibility that Timothy Olyphant could be the new Snake Plissken in The Escapre From New York remake. I'm actually liking this idea.

Kurt Russell starred in John Carpenter's original in 1981 and to tell you the truth, I've never seen it. So I'm a pretty poor judge if Olyphant would make a good Plissken. What I do know is that Plissken is pretty badass and so is Olyphant. I've been following his career for about 12 years, ever since he crazied up Scream 2. Olyphant has come along way since then. He's grown as an actor and he actually has a decent career for someone who got his break with a supporting role in a hit horror during Young Hollywood's teen craze. When Scream 2 was released late 1997, Neve Campbell, Jerry O'Connell and Sarah Michelle Gellar were the big names among the cast. Where are they now? Olyphant's longevity in this business is pretty impressive.

The charismatic actor has worked steadily for years, in big and small productions. He was excellent as a drug dealer in Doug Liman's Go and effectively carried the male lead in the gay romantic comedy The Broken Hearts Club. Olyphant was one of the detectives in Gone in 60 Seconds opposite Nicolas Cage, rocked with Mark Wahlberg in Rock Star, and was part of the ensemble in Stephen King's Dreamcatcher. 2004 was a good year for Olyphant: The Girl Next Door was released and his HBO show Deadwood premiered. Whenever I browse around the interwebs and read about Timmy, people generally seem to think fondly of both projects and his performances.

Like I said, Olyphant has worked steadily for years. But in 2006 came the game changer. He was cast as the main bad guy in Live Free or Die Hard. Yes, Timmy Olyphant versus Bruce Willis in the new Die Hard movie. I squeed, but was also surprised. While he has a solid rep, I was surprised they picked him for such a huge project. Live Free or Die Hard was a blockbuster hit in 2007 and his next big project followed only a few months later: Hitman. It was Olyphant's first starring role in a studio film. While the film didn't do as well as hoped, it didn't taint his career. He had leads in A Perfect Getaway and The Crazies and continues to work in television as well, currently playing the lead in Justified.

Olyphant is versatile. He does a lot of different projects, showing his unwillingness to be typecast. While I generally consider him to be badass, there's more to him than just that. I think that's what makes him appealing to a large audience. Guys think he's a cool dude. Boyfriend finds him likeable despite the fact that I sit next to him squealing like a fangirl whenever he's onscreen. Women (= well, at least me) find him charismatic and handsome. And to top it off, he's a good actor!

So I don't know if Olyphant would make a good Snake Plissken. I do know I've never disliked him in anything I've ever seen him in and he's a capable actor. He's appealing and has a pretty decent track record. Breck Eisner, who's responsible for the Escape From New York remake, directed Olyphant in The Crazies and recently told Movie Web that he thinks Tim "would be great for it. We have not yet discussed internally within the studio who will play Snake Plissken. There are many factors that go into those discussions. First and foremost, obviously, is the creative one. We can't make the movie unless we get the perfect Snake Plissken, and that's a tall order. There are very few guys that could do it. He would definitely be one of the guys who could. There is no question about that."

If the remake will star Olyphant, I will be watching it. Be smart, studio, who else could pull it off?

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