Highlander was one of the coolest, edgiest action franchises of the 80s and it spawned a great TV show which may have been even better than the feature films. For nearly a decade now Hollywood has been trying to get a reboot of the iconic franchise going, and it keeps stalling.
The current attempt to reboot Highlander is now under the direction of John Wick director Chad Stahelski and he’s been attached since 2016 with very little movement on the project. But it’s not dead. The good news here is that they’re still working on it and he offered this update to MovieWeb…
“We’re in heavy development mode on Highlander. Tweaking the scripts, writing, conceptualizing sequences, how we’re going to do everything. We probably have a lot more in-person kind of things, but it hasn’t slowed down our development process at all.”
That sounds promising. And his take on the project makes it sound like he’s trying something unique. He explains…
“What I guess I’m saying, I think I’m a better fan of superhero movies than I would ever be a director of one. So I’m going to stay in the outer periphery of that. Look at the projects in the past. I love John Wick. Is that kind of a superhero? Yeah, in a kind of hyper way absolutely. You look at Highlander. Yeah, that’s kind of a different thing. It’s a little bit more grounded, but yes, you could see the hero in that. If you look at the other projects I’m attached to, they all kind of have heroes in them. Just not with capes and kryptonite.”
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 was attached to star in Highlander but that too fell by the wayside. Maybe they’ll try to get him back, but it’s not really clear who they want to star in this current version.
The Highlander remake will follow the original 1986 film’s template. The film saw an aged-old battle between immortal warriors that spilled over into modern times.
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 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.