The Epic ‘Gears of War’ Movie and Josh Holloway-Starring ‘Escape from New York’ That Might Have Been

By  · Published on April 30th, 2012

An adaptation of Gears of War and a remake of Escape from New York are tricky projects. The hit video game series is huge in scale, and if was translated right, it would make for a very, very hard-R picture.

As for taking on John Carpenter’s cult classic, who could actually fill the shoes of Snake Plissken? Well, to answer that question, it was almost Lost’s own Josh Holloway, a pick no sane man would disagree with.

Total Recall director Len Wiseman was once attached to both projects a few years ago. While speaking with him today about his upcoming flick I had to ask what they might have been like. As it turns out, if he didn’t have his way, we could have gotten a $60m version of Gears of War starring wrestlers. Now there’s a film no fan wants to see.

So what would they have been like?

As a fan of the game, I have to ask, what were your plans for Gears of War?

I love it, of course. I’m a fan too. I was really bummed out, to be honest. It just got to the point where it was too expensive for what they considered too much of an isolated, male-driven movie. You know, just even the fact it’s called Gears of War [Laughs]. They felt it was risky. The vision I had for it was an appropriate one for the game. The game is epic and massive. I didn’t really want to see the 50 or 60 million dollar version of that movie.

Or PG-13.

Yeah, those things combined were really difficult. I wanted to pull off the world I got excited about. It just got too expensive.

Who would you have cast as Cole?

You know, I was stressing about that, because I didn’t have someone in mind. For Total Recall, I was actually thinking Colin [Farrell] would be great, based on all the stuff I had seen; it’s totally great when a director gets who they’re thinking of.

For Gears of War, I couldn’t really picture anybody. I didn’t really want to go the wrestler route, and a lot of that was popping up. I didn’t have anybody. Did you ever picture a Marcus? The Rock kept coming up all the time, and that was something they were talking about before I even got involved. Oh, you know what? The only person I thought kind of had the look of Marcus was Daniel Craig. Just get the bandanna around him; he had that whole face, demeanor, and attitude.

Did you think of anyone for Cole? I would’ve gone with Terry Crews.

Oh, for Cole? I thought you meant Marcus. Yeah, Crews has been on the lists out there and he’s on the fantasy casting lists. God, who was the other guy? There was Crews and somebody else… Crews actually would be perfect. I wasn’t too familiar with Crews’s work until after my Gears of War experience.

I imagine it’s tough casting those type of characters. Like, for Escape from New York, most fans have their idea of who would be a perfect Snake Plissken.

Early on, when I was involved with it, there was Sawyer from Lost.

Josh Holloway? He’s great.

Yeah, he’s great. He’s got the wiseass, modern Snake Plissken vibe about him. He was somebody we talked about.

Make sure to read the full interview with Len Wiseman next week.

And check out other filmmaker interviews

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Longtime FSR contributor Jack Giroux likes movies. He thinks they're swell.