Kurt Russell, the legendary action movie star of Escape From New York fame, made a huge impression on a young Hideo Kojima. So much so that the auteur game designer's most iconic character, Solid Snake, is essentially a walking homage to Russell's character in the 1981 classic, the iconic Snake Plissken.
References to Escape From New York are littered throughout the Metal Gear Solid series, as are aspects of characters like Solid Snake and Big Boss, the most obvious being eyepatches, smoking cigs, and epic mullets. Solid Snake goes by many names throughout the series, from Snake, to Old Snake, and his real name David. Briefly, he went by the most explicit reference to Russel's character yet, the codename Iroquois Plisken.
It's long been rumoured that Kojima wanted Russel for the role of Solid Snake, and ultimately, David Hayter would make video game history as the iconic protagonist. In a recent interview with GQ (thanks, IGN), Russell was asked directly about these rumours, and he appears to play them off:
“There have been many different times when people wanted to do something. I don’t know. I’m a movie guy. You’ve got to understand that, from my point of view, whether it’s Elvis, Snake Plissken, Jack Burton, or R.J. MacReady, that was that project. That was that thing. You get into that mindset. You create that. You want to make that world happen.”