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Casting Call: Escape From New York

An influential Manhattan mobster, Herald "Brain" Hellman commandeers the New York Public Library as his fortress and proves himself useful to Snake with his knowledge of the city's infrastructure and science. Ralph Fiennes's hardboiled eccentricity would be ideal.

The antagonist of the film, the menacing Duke of New York City, takes the President hostage and reveals he was the brain behind the attack. He also stylishly rocks a military jacket with gold epaulettes and metal silver spiked gloves. Joaquin Phoenix has just the right amount of zany grit that would perfectly suit the role.

The thought of an eye-patch sporting, machete-toting, cigarette-smoking Idris Elba as the badass Snake Plissken has already got us swooning. His thrilling and action-packed roles in Luther and No Good Deed have certainly prepared him.



Bob Hauk, the New York Police Commissioner, enlists Snake for the mission and exposes his sadistic tendencies when he reveals Snake will die if he fails. Tommy Lee Jones specializes in these emotionally complex roles, and we'd like to see him fully mustachioed.

Despite being captured by the ruthless inhabitants of New York City, the President maintains a sense of composure as he still hopes to deliver a vital speech at the international peace summit he was en route to. Dennis Quaid has a cool, calm, and collected demeanor to him, as well as a secret kick-ass side that would work well with the character (and he already has experience playing a president—Bill Clinton—in The Special Relationship).

The crazy and enthusiastic inmate Cabbie, who drives Snake around the city on his quest, provides brief moments of comic relief. We nominate Danny Devito.