There was a Highlander reboot planned with Henry Cavill but it looks like the project will find another star
Highlander was one of the coolest, edgiest action franchises of the 80s. It spawned a great TV show which may have been even better than the feature films. Since 2008, talk of a Highlander reboot has been ongoing.
After many starts and stops, things began to pick up in 2016 when John Wick co-director Chad Stahelski joined the production. It was even more promising when it was announced that Henry Cavill was also joining the reboot, but now, that no longer seems to be the case.
So, if Henry Cavill is no longer part of the Highlander reboot, then who is? Has there been another announcement concerning a new star joining the reboot? Here is what we know about the Highlander reboot.
HENRY CAVILL WILL BE IN THE HIGHLANDER REBOOT
The big question used to be just who Henry Cavill would be playing in the Highlander reboot. If you recall, the original 1986 Highlander starred Christopher Lambert as Connor MacLeod.
Highlander: The Series ran from 1992-98 and starred Adrian Paul as Duncan MacLeod, so it was never clear if Cavill would be playing Connor or if he would just be introduced as another member of the MacLeod Clan.
The news surrounding Henry Cavill in the Highlander reboot had all been positive with the actor himself taking to his Instagram to proclaim that he indeed was going to be a big part of the Highlander universe saying, “Very exciting news today! I’ve been a fan of Highlander since I was lad. From the movies in all of their 80s, Queen slathered glory to the TV show with an actor who looked remarkably like one of my brothers.”
Depending on how one looks at it, the past year or so for Cavill could be a good thing for the actor, or not. He was going to be returning to (and rightfully so) the role of Clark Kent/Superman but then Warner Bros pivoted, bringing in James Gunn and Peter Safran to run the new DC Studios.
Shortly after that hiring, Gunn was part of a press conference to detail the direction of the DCU and during the press conference he explained, “It’s also important to say that Henry Cavill was not fired. Henry was just not hired to be Superman in the Superman movie. There was never a deal there for another movie. And that’s not what it was.”
The issue with Superman had a ripple effect. Thinking he was being brought back as the Man of Steel made Cavill decide that it was time to move on from his role as Geralt of Rivia in the hit Netflix series, The Witcher. The series will go on, but Liam Hemsworth will assume the role when the series goes back into production.
Ever since his return to Metropolis was nixed, Cavill has been searching for that next big franchise. Although The Witcher was also in his rearview, Cavill was recently seen on the Netflix original, Enola Holmes 2, the sequel to the very successful Millie Bobby Brown-led film where Cavill turned up as Enola Holmes’ older brother, the famous Sherlock Holmes.
It’s not exactly clear what character Henry Cavill will play in the Highlander reboot yet and at this pace, it might be some time before we know. In the meantime, Cavill has Argylle and The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare coming in 2024.
CHRIS HEMSWORTH IN THE HIGHLANDER REBOOT?
Okay, so if Henry Cavill won’t be starring in the Highlander reboot, then who will be taking his place? Back in January, we reported that Henry Cavill has indeed left the Highlander reboot and through our trusted and proven sources, we have learned that producers are now circling Chris Hemsworth to take his place. So, make that two Hemsworth’s for the price of one Cavill.
CHAD STAHELSKI IS RUNNING THE HIGHLANDER REBOOT
With John Wick 4 hitting the theaters, fans may be hearing a lot more about the film’s director, Chad Stahelski. The 54-year-old stuntman, actor, and now director supreme has been developing the Highlander reboot and had been looking forward to having Cavill take on the role.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in a past interview, Stahelski said about Cavill, “Henry obviously has the physicality, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot if you can’t also carry the empathy of a character that’s lived 500 years, and I needed somebody who could do both.”
Stahelski was obviously very high on Cavill and what he thought the actor could bring to the Highlander. “Then during our first meeting, my suspicions were confirmed: Henry was immediately riffing on the idea of the burden of immortality and you could see in his eyes that he can transform himself from being a young, vibrant soul to an old, wise soul.”
Stahleski has been trying to get Highlander up and running for years now. He’s been working off a script written by Kerry Williamson, but as far back as John Wick 3, which Stahelski also directed, the director gave a brief update to Entertainment Weekly about Highlander’s progress saying, “Still working on the development of that.”
“Highlander is such a massive property. Luckily, the studio (Lionsgate) is really behind me in this. I truly believe this is one of those properties that could actually sustain a good universe, meaning a TV show or something. And to go out there, and just haphazardly throw together what we think would be a quick sword fighting-immortal movie, I think would be a mistake. And honestly, the people behind this, the studio behind this, they’re dying for this to go. If anything, I’m the one holding it back, and trying to creatively lay out everything. We just don’t want to paint ourselves into a corner creatively, like happened with the original.”
THE HIGHLANDER REBOOT PLOT COULD BE A BRAND-NEW STORY
It’s way too early to tell exactly what direction Stahelski is going with his reboot. Will he tell the story from the beginning, giving the MacLeod history a once over? Knowing that it has been quite some time since The Highlander was a main part of our lexicon, some type of review should be expected. Grabbing new fans for a potential franchise will be key so allowing them to understand the MacLeod history will be important in building the new Highlander world.
HIGHLANDER HAS SEEN FOUR MOVIES AND A TELEVISION SERIES
The Highlander movies followed Christopher Lambert as Connor McLeod, an immortal born in the Highlands of Scotland hundreds of years ago… and he is still alive. The great Sean Connery had a big part in it as well, playing Connor’s mentor.
The television show followed Adrian Paul as Duncan McLeod, of similar origins. Duncan eventually showed up in a movie, but it wasn’t well received. No word yet if either actor might be pulled in to be part of the new movie, perhaps in a cameo.
The Highlander original spawned three sequels, the aforementioned Highlander II: The Quickening, Highlander III: The Sorcerer, and Highlander: Endgame, which saw a Connor and Duncan MacLeod (Adrian Paul) team-up. After those four movies, the Highlander franchise did see one made-for-TV movie with Highlander: The Source, which premiered on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2007.
The Highlander franchise didn’t focus on just feature films. Highlander: The Series ran for six seasons and brought Paul in as Duncan another immortal from the MacLeod clan. It even brought in Lambert’s Connor for the series’ first episode so he could train Duncan in the Highlander ways.
On top of the popular TV series, the franchise also had an animated series, aptly titled Highlander: The Animated Series, which enjoyed a two-season run.
The franchise also gave a go of a spin-off called Highlander: The Raven in which the original TV series’ popular character Amanda Darieux was given the lead. The Raven only lasted two seasons.
THERE WAS A HIGHLANDER REBOOT ATTEMPT IN 2012, BUT IT DIDN’T COMPLETE
The Highlander remake’s previous director, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) left the Highlander remake back in 2012 because he didn’t see eye-to-eye with Summit Entertainment on the direction of the story. He had joined Highlander after leaving the production of another remake, The Crow.
Highlander seems like it’s a cursed production. Director Justin Lin was once attached to direct the remake but was lured away to make more Fast & Furious movies. At one point Ryan Reynolds was attached to star in Highlander but that too fell by the wayside.
The Highlander reboot was originally set for release in 2011 (of course, that didn’t happen), and then pushed to 2014. Now it looks like the film won’t see the light of day for a couple more years at least.