The character of Snake Plissken was created by John Carpenter and Nick Castle. Plissken is the protagonist in Escape from New York and Escape from L.A..

I recently noticed the following blurb on IMDb in regards to Plissken's character and another character created by John Carpenter. From IMDb:

Interestingly the character of Napoleon Wilson would essentially reappear as Snake Pliskin in another John Carpenter film Escape from New York (1981)

Am I misunderstanding this information? How could Napoleon Wilson from Assault on Precinct 13 be "reappearing" as Snake Plissken?

I know that homage is paid to Wilson in Escape from L.A., when Snake Plissken asks commander Malloy for a smoke using the same line that Wilson uses repeatedly in Assault on Precinct 13 of

Got a smoke?

Is there any evidence from filmmakers that the character of Napoleon Wilson reappeared as Snake Plissken?

  • 5
    They might be talking about a mere ideological reappearance in the form of a similar character in that IMDb blurb (which actually has typos dimishing its official credibility). But interesting question nevertheless.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


Plissken is referred to by Carpenter as a descendant of Wilson but I think this is meant more in character refinement or spiritual descendant terms rather than actual ancestry...but it's not impossible he meant it literally.

So not the same person but, arguably, related...one way or another.

Speaking to AintItCool.com

AICN: Snake is one of my favorite examples of a leading man anti-hero, so can we talk a little bit about how you guys created the very not dick-ish asshole that everybody still loves to this day?

Carpenter: Look, Snake Plissken is a direct descendant of Napoleon Wilson from Assault on Precinct 13. He's cut from the same cloth. They are a combination of people. One is a guy I went to high school with who had a lot of the same characteristics and my own alter-ego. You combine my own alter-ego and this guy I knew then you get Snake Plissken. We added a bit of absurd romance to him. What's under that eyepatch? How did he get it? What has he been doing? Who is he really? We made him a mysterious character. So mysterious he was kind of a Man With No Name, an immitation of Eastwood.

  • Nice find! Great interview by Carpenter! It's so interesting that Carpenter said that about those two characters! I wonder if that's why Plissken says the "Got a smoke" line in Escape from L.A.. +1 :) Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 21:27
  • 2
    I'm really confused about the DV on this answer. This is a great answer with a source directly from the filmmaker. Commented Mar 19, 2017 at 0:36

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