It may not be the biggest hit at the box office this weekend, but Escape Plan could wind up a cult favorite. As our review states, it’s “entertaining” and “gloriously silly.” And truth be told, it’s the first movie for either Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone in about 20 years that deserves a sequel. Or needs one, because personally I found the team-up of these two 1980s action heroes a little less fun than I’d hoped. Honestly, I dozed off a bit in the middle.
But Escape Plan 2 could be bigger and even more entertaining and much sillier in an even more glorious way. For starters, I’d like to see a follow-up where the actors are actually equal, dual protagonists rather than seeing Arnie as a sidekick along for another one of Sly’s adventures. Maybe the sequel could instead reverse the premise and have it be Schwarzenegger’s character’s story.
Instead of coming up with original ideas to pitch to the makers of Escape Plan, and potentially just have them stolen, I’ve selected 10 plots that already exist in other movies, which could be remade for Escape Plan 2, Escape Plan 3, etc. And the good thing is many of these titles are already in line to be remade. Just tweak the scripts with some one-liners referencing both stars’ past hits, and you’re good to go!
If ever there was a movie to be remade after only a year, it’s the one alternately known as “Space Jail.” And I bet Lockout writer/producer Luc Besson would agree. Maybe the premise is that both Schwarzenegger and Stallone together fill the Guy Pearce role and have to save the President’s daughter from the orbiting prison. Basically, the whole movie is built around one important line of dialogue spoken by Schwarzenegger: “We’ve got to get our asses to Space Prison!”
Escape From New York
The movie that Lockout most rips off plot-wise, John Carpenter’s first adventure with Snake Plissken is already on track for a redo. Here’s an idea: throw Schwarzenegger and Stallone into it and greenlight that bad boy. Since Arnie has already been the President of the United States in a movie, albeit not with his involvement (Harry Shearer voiced the actor/politician in The Simpsons Movie), and given that this week he’s been on the rumor mill as still interested in actually becoming Commander in Chief, maybe Sly can play the POTUS in peril here. Schwarzenegger would look better with an eyepatch, too, if the film is to go fully faithful. If you wonder how Stallone’s jail-breaker character becomes the leader of America in the sequel, obviously he’s going to be deemed a hero for exposing the illegal secret prison in the first film. The real question might be why an escape artist of his talents can’t get himself out of the post-apocalyptic Manhattan.
Another movie involving a super-security prison that’s supposed to be impossible to break out of, and that is similarly out in the middle of the ocean (actually, re-watching the scene below has me thinking Escape Plan really ripped this bit off). But the real appeal of remaking this for Schwarzenegger and Stallone is really obvious: to have these guys impersonate each other. There is no way they’ll do as good a job as Travolta as Cage and Cage as Travolta, but that will only make it even more entertaining and silly. For a tiny hint of Arnie doing Sly, check out this Tonight Show interview. The closest we might have to the reverse is in our imagination after seeing the Stallone in Terminator 2: Judgement Day standee in The Last Action Hero.
If you think about it, especially while watching Escape Plan, the subterranean utopia/dystopia of Logan’s Run is kind of a prison. When Logan 5 and Jessica 6 find the way out of that city, they have to go upward, much like the prisoners in the new movie. There’s even a sequence in which our heroes have to navigate through flooding tunnels. The part of Logan’s Run about there being a maximum age can be applied to the aging actors as a nod to the fact that they should be too old to be action heroes but refuse to expire their careers expire.
Down By Law
If you know your buddy movie franchise history, you know with the second installment they have to introduce a third party, some new comic relief a la Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon 2. Maybe that’s actually the only example. Regardless, in the black and white Escape Plan 2, Schwarzenegger and Stallone wind up in a Louisiana prison and have to share a cell with… Roberto Benigni. After some funny scenes involving their new friend’s broken English (which makes Arnie seem like Henry Higgins) and some chanting about ice cream, the trio break out and run through the bayou. Tom Waits and John Lurie will have cameos as guards.
Cool Hand Luke
Inspired by the main character’s revolving door habit of escaping from prison and then getting sent right back, a situation evoked in the opening of Escape Plan, Stallone’s character has gotten to the point where he really prefers to be locked up. But he also still has the artistic need to break out. So it’s just back and forth for him until he’s shot in the neck and killed. Schwarzenegger has less to do, but in taking on the George Kennedy role gives hopes that he’ll finally garner his first Oscar nomination. Or maybe at least his third Golden Globe nod.
In this shot-for-shot and nearly cast-for-cast redo of the Michael Bay masterpiece, Nicolas Cage reprises his part as Goodspeed. But with Sean Connery in retirement, it’s left to both Stallone and Schwarzenegger to team-up again because they’re notorious for escaping that impossible freighter prison in the first Escape Plan. It’ll be worth it for the scenes where Schwarzenegger butts heads with Michael Biehn’s Navy SEAL commander. The late John Spencer’s part will now be played by Linda Hunt. And who’s daughter is Claire Forlani? Turns out her mother slept with both men and she’s got a My Two Dads situation.
Crossing the Rian Johnson movie with the Doctor Who villains known as the Weeping Angels, which pretty much imprison people in the past, Schwarzenegger and Stallone are sent back to relive the 1980s all over again. In a great montage sequence, we get to see the aging stars reenact some of their classic bits from movies like Cobra, The Terminator, Rocky IV, Commando, etc. Never mind why. It’s a Spike Jonze joint, that’s why. Maybe they accidentally knocked out their younger selves when they landed in 1983 or whenever.
Stallone and Schwarzenegger’s characters have gone straight and now work at a bank dressed as woodpeckers. But by a wild coincidence they’re framed by bank robbers who’ve stolen their costumes, and now they’re back in a maximum-security prison. They decide to just deal with their fate until the warden decides to enter Schwarzenegger into a rodeo competition. After this, hopefully the duo can star in remakes of other Wilder/Pryor comedies. Who doesn’t want to see Arnie take on the blackface scene from Silver Streak?
If there’s anything more escape-proof than a prison in the middle of the ocean, it’s a prison in the middle of the ocean with dinosaurs on the loose. In this sequel, Stallone’s character is brought by John Hammond to Isla Nublar to test out his new “Jurassic Prison.” Schwarzenegger joins him in the Laura Dern part and Jeff Goldblum reprises his role because there’s just no one else acceptable. Of course, Sam Neill, who appears in Escape Plan must be brought back for some purpose. Maybe his miserable doctor has some reason to fill the Nedry spot? It doesn’t matter. The point here is that we really, really want to see Schwarzenegger and Stallone in the jungle fighting the T. rex.