Wait, we almost had a Snake Plissken anime movie in the early 2000s?
In 2003, Production I.G revealed to ANN that the Japanese animation studio had been hired to produce animation for a full-length (80-90 minutes) feature film based on the character Snake Plissken from the films Escape From New York and Escape From L.A.
In the future, crime is out of control and New York City is a maximum security prison. Grabbing a bargaining chip right out of the air, convicts bring down the President’s plane in bad old Gotham. Gruff Snake Plissken, a one-eyed lone warrior new to prison life, is coerced into bringing the President, and his cargo, out of this land of undesirables.
It’s working title would be simply Snake as spotted on studio concept artwork. The animation studio is likely best known for working on Ghost In In The Shell, Appleseed, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and the animation segments from Kill Bill Vol. 1.
Snake’s script was being written by Corey Mitchel and William Wilson under the supervision of hands-on producers John Carpenter, the legendary Debra Hill who sadly passed away in 2005, and Kurt Russell.
I.G was able to contribute and give feedback on the story as well.
Anime veteran Mitsuro Hongo was set to direct Snake, known for projects like Outlaw Star, Sakura Wars, Kasumin, World Trigger, Space Battleship Yamato 2199, and had also worked on the first Cowboy Bebop episode.
John was apparently going to score the music with Kurt providing the voice of Snake Plissken.
This wasn’t a strange situation for the time as fellow Japanese anime studio Madhouse developed tie-in anime material for existing properties such as The Animatrix, Highlander: The Search For Vengeance, and the Blade series.
They were reportedly aiming for a release date around 2004-2005 it never came together likely due to the passing of Debrah Hill in 2005. Hill was spearheading the multiple Plissken projects along with Namco’s unreleased video game Snake Plissken’s First Escape originally titled Snake Plissken’s Chronicles.
Snake’s plot details aren’t known but it’s possible the film could have been linked to First Escape which would have explored some of the pre-New York Plissken mythology and was being developed around the same time.
“The opportunity to now extend the Snake Plissken character through a video game franchise is a dream come true for us. We will be partnering directly with series creators John Carpenter, Debra Hill, and Kurt Russell to create a dangerous universe where players can live Snake’s past, present and future adventures first hand.”
We were unable to uncover any footage but apparently it does exist out there as they had completed a 30-second teaser trailer for the movie and had planned on releasing it with a DVD version of Escape From New York to help promote it.
What we were able to find was a flood of the film’s early concept art dated June 2003 drawn by lead character artists Yoshiaki Yanagida and Hiroyuki Nishimura (via AICN).