In the world of Metal Gear, one name stands tall: Solid Snake. But did you know that this legendary character owes some of his inspiration to none other than Kurt Russell's Snake Plissken from John Carpenter's Escape from New York? It's true! From the MSX days to the modern era, the connection between these two Snakes is as solid as Snake's trusty eyepatch.
Hideo Kojima, the mastermind behind Metal Gear, is undeniably a fan of Russell's iconic character. Snake's callsign and his general demeanor were heavily influenced by Snake Plissken. And let's not forget the eyepatch, a stylish addition that further solidifies the connection between the two Snakes. Kojima's admiration for Russell's portrayal is evident, as he even considered reaching out to the man himself.
In a surprising twist, David Hayter, the voice of Snake, revealed that Kojima had once contemplated having Kurt Russell voice the character. Can you imagine the thrill of having the original Snake Plissken bring life to a character inspired by his own? However, Russell's reluctance to step into the role left Hayter to voice both Naked Snake and Solid Snake throughout the series.
Recently, in an interview with GQ, Russell was asked about being approached for the Metal Gear series. His response was both thoughtful and nuanced, showcasing his genuine dedication to the characters he portrayed. Russell explained that once he takes on a role like Elvis or Snake Plissken, he delves deep into the character's mindset and creates a world around them. He emphasized that his focus lies in refining and perfecting the character rather than expanding financially through derivative works.
Russell's perspective on derivative characters becomes apparent as he expresses his reservations about the Snake characters' similarities to Snake Plissken. While acknowledging their differences in nature and arcs, he humorously points out their surface-level resemblance. It's safe to assume that Russell hasn't played Metal Gear, leading him to believe that the Snakes are more one-to-one with Snake Plissken than they actually are.
The actor also sheds light on the business side of things, recounting instances where people proposed ideas based on his iconic characters. However, he remained steadfast in his loyalty to the original creators, highlighting the importance of John Carpenter's involvement in any potential continuation. Russell's desire for freshness and originality led him to seek out new projects rather than relying solely on the legacy of his past characters.
While Russell did reprise his role as Snake Plissken in Escape from LA, he playfully admits that he doesn't consider his characters as "iconic." For him, the joy lies in the daily grind of bringing a character to life on set and making it work, rather than dwelling on their iconic status.
So, the tale of Snake, Plissken, and the iconic dance continues. Metal Gear owes a debt of gratitude to Kurt Russell's portrayal of Snake Plissken, even if the two characters have taken their separate paths. And as we ponder the what-ifs and humorous reflections of Russell, one thing remains clear: the world of gaming and the world of movies intertwine in mysterious and fascinating ways.