Despite the perceived similarities between Escape From New York’s Snake Plissken and Metal Gear Solid’s Solid Snake, actor Kurt Russell says he never had any interest in voicing a similar character in a video game.
During a GQ video breaking down some of Russell’s most iconic roles, the interviewer brings up Metal Gear’s Solid Snake as the actor discusses his role as Snake Plissken in John Carpenter’s 1981 film Escape From New York.
“There’s a video game series called Metal Gear Solid, it was rumored that there’s a character in the game inspired by Snake Plissken, and that they asked you to do the voice over,” the interviewer prompts.
“I’m pretty lazy by nature,” Russell answers off the bat, though he doesn’t confirm whether or not he was ever approached to voice Solid Snake. “There’s been plenty of different times when people have wanted to do something… I don’t know, I’m a movie guy.”
“I come from a different era,” Russell says, after explaining he’s always preferred to play iconic characters for just a single project. “I wasn’t interested in expanding financially off something that we had created … in terms of a character.”
Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima was reportedly almost sued for the parts of the game that allegedly resembled Escape From New York, but was saved by his friendship with director John Carpenter. “I told them not to do that,” Carpenter said of studio CanalPlus’s plans to sue over Metal Gear Solid. “I know the director of those games, and he’s a nice guy, or at least he’s nice to me.”
Kojima has also said that Solid Snake was not named after Snake Plissken, and rather that the name was just one that made sense for his character.