Jason Statham and Tom Hardy are up for the lead role in 'Escape from New York'.

The action stars are reportedly the top contenders to play Snake Plissken in StudioCanal's remake of the 1981 classic film, which starred Kurt Russell as the eye-patch wearing convict.

A source told the New York Daily News: ''Jason is the type of actor who has the physical attributes and screen presence to reprise Snake. He has a proven track record as a leading man and would do a great job.''

However producers are also thought to be impressed by Hardy's portrayal of the villainous Bane in last year's summer blockbuster, 'The Dark Knight Rises'.

The source added: ''Tom was immense in 'The Dark Knight Rises' and deserves to get a break in a top role. This could put him firmly in the A-list.''

''StudioCanal wants to make sure they get one of the two men before the summer.''

The original movie starred Russell as a convict tasked with saving the United States president, who is taken hostage in a futuristic Manhattan, where anarchy is rife.

The remake was first set up at New Line Cinema with 'Olympus Has Fallen' star Gerard Butler and 'The Avengers' actor Jeremy Renner hotly tipped to play Snake, but the studio gave up the rights to the film in 2011.

Statham recently starred in Taylor Hackford's 'Parker' alongside Jennifer Lopez and will next be seen in 'Hummingbird', while Hardy is set to star in next year's remake of 'Mad Max'.