The cinematic universe is largely considered an invention of the modern Hollywood era, but if that’s the case, then actor Kurt Russell must have been ahead of his time back in the ‘80s when he pitched a project that would have brought together big-name actors to play their most iconic action heroes in a single film. The project would have seen the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis in a team-up movie to rival “The Expendables.”
“They all had one best character that I thought would be interesting, in the action world, to put those guys together,” Russell said in an interview with FOX 5 DC reporter Kevin McCarthy. “That would have been a realistic version of what Marvel did, but it was like talking to a wall. I thought it would have been cool. Let them be the characters that they are.”
Russell, who plays the living planet Ego in the upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” said he would have reprised his “Escape from New York” role as Sake Plissken, but that might not have garnered the result studio heads were looking for.
“My thing about that was, if I was going to be Snake in that, the only problem was that I’m going to have to produce the movie because all Snake’s gonna do is walk in, look at them and leave,” Russell said.
Russell was one of the many ‘80s actors who enjoyed a career playing primarily action-oriented roles. He played the world-weary, apathetic Snake Plissken in the 1981 dystopic John Carpenter-directed movie “Escape from New York” and its 1996 sequel, “Escape from L.A.” Alongside him, Stallone gained worldwide acclaim for his role as Vietnam veteran John Rambo in 1982’s “First Blood” and its subsequent follow-ups. In 1988, “Die Hard” put Willis on the map as John McClane, a police detective who continuously finds himself thwarting terrorist plots. Schwarzenegger defined much of the ‘80s action genre with films like “Predator” in 1987, “Commando” in 1985 and “Terminator” in 1984.
Russell will play Ego the Living Planet in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” In the Marvel Comics lore, Ego is the result of a scientist who merged with a planet when said planet’s sun went nova. The character has seen numerous iterations since debuting in 1966 in “Thor” #133. Created by Stann Lee and Jack Kirby, Ego is often characterized as a power-hungry antagonist, though in recent years he has remained largely neutral.
Debuting in theaters on May 5, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is a production of Marvel Studios directed by James Gunn and starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell.