When professional wrestlers make the move from the squared circle to the silver screen, it can be a bumpy transition. For every Dwayne Johnson, who finds acclaim in a wide array of mainstream films, you have a Steve Austin or John Cena who, while they gain a certain level of success in low-budget, direct-to-video action movies, aren’t likely to even conquer the metroplex. After movies like Wrong Side of Town and The Scorpion King 3, that’s the path many envisioned for Dave Bautista. But following on the heels of the mega-hit Guardians of the Galaxy, he’s up for another high-profile role in a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster.
According to Latino Review, the former WWE superstar, and one-time burgeoning MMA fighter, is joining Summit Entertainment’s impending Highlander reboot in role of the Kurgan. You’ll remember that the mega-badass Clancy Brown played the brutal, immortal barbarian in the 1986 original. He’s the final villain that Christopher Lambert’s Connor MacLeod faces off with in the film.
There’s still no word on who might play Connor. At one point, Ryan Reynolds was attached, but he dropped out at some point along the road. Director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan (The Huntsman) says they’re looking for a younger actor to fill the role, and surround them with a strong Kurgan and a veteran actor to play the Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez role.
Sean Connery played the role in the original film, and they’re searching for a veteran actor to sit in for the new film. The last rumor that was going around late last year was that Summit was courting Tom Cruise for the part, which would be awesome.
Bautista’s involvement is, of course, unofficial at this point, but it could be damn near perfect. He’s never going to win any acting awards, but he’s shown himself to be surprisingly solid, and sure he’ll continue to appear in B-grade action movies like the Kickboxer remake, where he plays the villain Tong Po, but he also has bigger projects lined up, like a turn in the next James Bond picture, Spectre. If nothing else, he’s certainly the got the physicality necessary to pull of the Kurgan, although I wouldn’t sneeze at it if Clancy Brown wanted to reprise his role.