Press > Exclusive Interviews > John Carpenter (Director/Co-Writer/Co-Composer: Escape From New York & Escape From L.A.)

Were there any scenes or material in Escape From New York or Escape From L.A. you were disappointed to go from your original drafts due to budget restraints?


According to a source that I have there exists a rare extended TV version of Escape From New York with more deleted scenes added. Are you aware of this rare TV version or is my source faulty? If it happens to be true, do you know why they did an extended TV version of the movie?

I know of no extended version of Escape From New York.

Did you ever read or glanced through the Movie Tie-In Novel of Escape From New York by Mike McQuay and do you have any comments on it?

I liked it.

You originally wanted Escape From L.A. to be a prequel to Escape From New York. Why is that and what did you think of Coleman Luck's Escape From L.A. screenplay like the clone thing involving Snake Plissken for instance?

I didn't think Coleman Luck's screenplay was the kind of story we wanted to tell. And originally I had wanted Escape From L.A. to be an origins story.

There's a rumor that the black guard Snake Plissken has a brief eye contact with at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Escape From L.A. is Isaac Hayes (The Duke) doing an uncredited cameo. Is this true or not?

Not true.

Do you have any theories why Escape From L.A. was such a disappointment for some. What kind of problems do you think some people had or have with it?

I can't answer for why some films sink and others swim.
What do you like the most about Escape From New York and Escape From L.A. respectively? Also, feel free to tell us your favorite memory or memories from making these movies.

I really enjoyed the dystopian futures both movies present. Additionally, any time I can make a movie with Kurt Russell (Snake Plissken) is a happy experience for me.

Which scene or scenes from Escape From New York and Escape From L.A. are you the most proud of or like the most? 

It isn't a scene or sequence in the Escape movies that I'm proud of. It's the whole.

A lot of Snake Plissken projects such as comic books, a TV series, an anime movie, a video game, novels have either been cancelled or canned during the years. Escape From Earth was also a potential project. Is there anything left you'd like to have done or witnessed to have been done more with Snake Plissken in terms of setting, story or anything else via these mediums, Escape From Earth in particular?

In this business I've learned "never say never" is how things go.

Do you have any fond memories of working with Ernest Borgnine (Cabbie) you'd like to share with us?

HE was a wonderful man. He demonstrated to me that an actor could say his lines with his back to the camera.

Do you have any fond memories on working with Ox Baker (Slag) you'd like to share for us and is it true that your first choice for the part was Bruiser Brody?

No, my first choice was always Ox Baker. Getting into the ring which was made of barbed wire Ox cut himself. I asked Ox, "Are you alright?" He said, "It's nothing. I didn't even feel it." That was Ox in a nutshell.

Thank you for your time, John.