Kurst Russell as Snake Plissken

Today the movie business is full of major franchises and shared universe continuity. However, it all could have happened much sooner as Kurt Russell apparently had the idea back in the 1980s to bring all of that decade's great action heroes together for one big movie. At the time, nobody seemed to put much thought into the idea. Of course, now we're guessing all those producers are kicking themselves. According to Russell...

Years ago I did think that it would be-- and nobody would listen to me--I thought it'd be great to sort of take a bunch of the characters, guys like Bruce Willis and Stallone and Schwarzenegger and whatever. They all had one best character that I thought would be interesting in the action-y world. I thought it'd be fun to put those guys together. That would've been a realistic version of what Marvel did but it was like talking to a wall. It was a little ahead of its time, I guess.

On its face, it actually sounds like a wonderful idea that 80s action movie fans would have paid through the nose to see. A big action movie that brings Rambo, The Terminator, Snake Plissken, and John McClane all together in one place? Who wouldn't want to see that? We're only guessing as far as who would actually be included of course, and the script that explained how all these characters came together would have to be nuts, but at least the concept sounds like the most fun movie ever made.

Of course, we can guess that the reason that such an idea probably didn't get much consideration at the time is because making it happen would simply have been too difficult. All those action film franchises were owned by different studios which would have made the legal wrangling impossible to deal with. The only reason the Marvel Cinematic Universe works is that Marvel owns all the characters, and they're still dealing with problems due to not having the film rights to some characters.

The closest we've ever come to the dream crossover Kurt Russell pitched to Fox 5 in Washington D.C. is The Expendables franchise, which did successfully bring numerous great action movie stars, like Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Willis, all together, but unfortunately, not as their most famous characters. That idea is probably still a pipe dream.

Although to be fair, even Kurt Russell knows that such a crossover would have been difficult to pull off, at least from a storyline perspective. He admits that his own character, Snake Plissken, would probably have only had a cameo, because why the hell would Snake work with people? In Russell words...

I thought it would be really cool. And let them be the characters that they are. My thing about that was, if I was going to be Snake in that, I'm going to have to produce the movie. The only thing Snake's gonna do is walk in, look at 'em and then leave.

We'll always be left to wonder what this big 80s crossover would have been like. Kurt Russell will be seen with a very different action movie team when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits screens May 5.

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