The Highlander remake is one of those projects that’s been bouncing around development hell for ages now, occasionally bobbing to the surface with some new rumors but always seeming like a terrible idea. Ryan Reynolds came and went as the prospective lead, and a dude named Cedric Nicolas-Troyan was set to make his feature debut as director of the film. Well, now the Highlander reboot reportedly has a very big fish in its sites: actor Tom Cruise.
The Wrap reports that Summit Entertainment — the folks behind the Twilight movies, among other things — are currently “courting” Tom Cruise for their long-gestating Highlander revamp. They don’t want him for the lead, but rather for the “Sean Connery mentor role.” If your Highlander memories are a little rusty, Connery played Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez in the original film, an Egyptian pretending to be a Spaniard who wielded a katana and spoke with a Scottish accent. He took the recently undead-ed Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) under his wing and explained the truth about the immortals who have been living among mortal man for centuries, forever battling each other to claim “the prize” — in the end, there can be only one. So, if Cruise does sign on for Highlander, I wonder if he’ll fare better than Connery’s Ramirez and actually make it to the end credits with his head still attached.
It’s a country mile away from being a done deal at this point, however, and The Wrap suggests that at this point the interest is mostly one sided. Cruise is busy with Mission: Impossible V at the moment, with both one of his reps and an insider from the Highlander reboot itself confirming that, whatever Summit’s desires, Cruise is not in talks for the role at this point.
It’s certainly understandable why they’d want Cruise for the role: even though he’s not the surefire box-office draw he once was, he’s still a proven talent in spite of all the easy jokes about Scientology and couch-jumping. And as far as we’re concerned, last summer’s Edge of Tomorrow proved that Cruise is still one of the few bona fide, old-fashioned movie stars out there right now. His potential involvement doesn’t convince me that we’re in need of a Highlander reboot in the first place, but if they’re going to make one anyway, I’d be curious to see what he brings to the role.
The Wrap’s article also confirms that Cedric Nicolas-Troyan is still set to direct, having previously worked as second unit director on Snow White and the Huntsman and a visual effects artist on flicks such as The Ring and One Hour Photo. The script was written by Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man), with rewrites by Melissa Rosenberg, who worked on Summit’s Twilight movies and is running the show on Marvel and Netflix’s upcoming Jessica Jones series.
Regardless of what happens, this thing has got to be better than all the Highlander sequels, right? Right?