Long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Expendables and maybe even Planet Hollywood, Kurt Russell wanted to unite your favorite heroes. In a new interview promoting his role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the actor reveals that back in the day he pitched a movie where all the big action movie stars of the time — Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and others –would team up as their “one best,” i.e. their most iconic, action hero characters.
“It was a little ahead of its time,” he tells Fox 5 DC entertainment reporter Kevin McCarthy. For his part, he would have reprised the role of Snake Plissken from Escape from New York. Even though that character probably wouldn’t be interested in working with any sort of team. “The only problem was [I was] going to have to produce the movie, Russell admits, “because the only thing Snake’s going to do is walk in and look at them and leave.”
It makes you wonder why Russell never appeared in the Expendables movies, considering those basically brought all those 1980s action stars together, just not as the copyrighted characters and not in their prime. He was actually approached by Stallone, his old Tango & Cash costar, early on and decided, according to an IGN interview, “It’s not a beat I get. It’s like looking backwards to me.” So, he probably wouldn’t be down for playing Snake alongside other unrelated franchise characters today.
What would that ensemble have looked like 30 years ago, though? We figure this is the list Russell was thinking:
Kurt Russell: Snake Plissken (Escape from New York)
Sylvester Stallone: John Rambo (First Blood)
Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Good T-1000 (The Terminator)
Bruce Willis: John McClane (Die Hard)
Mel Gibson: Martin Riggs (Lethal Weapon)
Clint Eastwood: Harry Callahan (Dirty Harry)
Chuck Norris: Col. James Braddock (Missing in Action)
Charles Bronson: Paul Kersey (Death Wish)
Carl Weathers: Action Jackson (Action Jackson)
Jean-Claude Van Damme: Frank Dux (Bloodsport)
Watch the interview with Russell below, starting at the 4:09 mark: