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Guardians Of The Galaxy Star Dave Bautista Just Landed Another Classic Villain Role

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guardians of the galaxyWhen 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.

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The Highlander Remake Wants This A-List Actor To Co-Star

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RamirezThe 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.

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Highlander Reboot Finds A New Director (Again)

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highlanderThe Highlander reboot has been in development hell for some years now. In 2008, Summit Entertainment purchased the property with the hopes to re-introduce the film franchise into pop culture. At one point Ryan Reynolds was attached to play the role of Connor MacLeod, aka the Highlander, the final immortal. He has since dropped out of the project, along with the reboot’s director Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later). Now it seems that Highlander‘s producers have found a new director to take his place.

According to Deadline, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan will make his feature film debut with the Highlander reboot. Nicolas-Troyan previously worked as visual effects supervisor and second unit director on Snow White And The Huntsman. He also worked on the visual effects on Gore Verbinski’s The Ring and Mark Romanek’s directorial debut One Hour Photo.

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Ryan Reynolds Bails On The Highlander Reboot

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Ryan Reynolds“There can only be one.” Ryan Reynolds has exited the Highlander reboot in the works from Summit Entertainment and producers Neal Moritz and Peter Davis. According to The Wrap, Reynolds left the project on good terms with Summit, and it was considered an amicable split by the producers. However, this puts the Highlander reboot project back to square one.

The Highlander reboot had been in development with director Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) attached to helm the project. He left the project in November 2012 because he didn’t see eye-to-eye with the film’s producers about a direction for the reboot. Ironically enough, Fresnadillo left then joined up with another reboot: The Crow, with actor Luke Evans in the title role.

Summit Entertainment now wants to move quickly with the Highlander reboot, but with no director or lead, it’s got quite a few things to sort out before we’ll be able to see it in theaters. The project has been in the works for years now, and has gone through multiple creative teams. At one time, director Justin Lin was attached to helm the Highlander reboot. He ultimately opted out and went on to the Fast and The Furious film series with Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6.

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The Highlander Remake Needs A New Director

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The search for the right director is sometimes a daunting task. No, we’re not talking about Star Wars: Episode VII, we’re talking about another remake to a different and widely popular science fiction movie franchise. Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo has officially left the production of the Highlander remake. Now Summit Entertainment is scrambling to find another director, but remember in the world of Highlander, “there can be only one.”

According to Deadline, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) left the Highlander remake 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, last year.

It’s surprising that after one year of working on a film, Summit and Fresnadillo couldn’t decide on a storyline. It’s also surprising that the studio that brought you the Twilight Saga could be so picky with its films’ narratives.

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Highlander Remake Casts Ryan Reynolds In The Lead Role

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We’ve known that a Highlander remake was in the works for at least a year now, and as of a month or so ago the rumored top contender for the lead was Ryan Reynolds. Well, now it’s official: The Tracking Board is reporting that negotiations have concluded and that Reynolds play the immortal “Conner McLeod,” a Scottish highlander who has survived through the centuries and now fights with other immortals to claim the Prize of mortality. (The “Conner” spelling is taken from the Tracking Board’s story; he was named “Connor” in the original film. It’s not clear if this is a typo or if they’ve changed the spelling for some reason.)

The film will be directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, who previously helmed the 28 Weeks Later sequel. He’s also said to be in negotiations to rewrite the script. The Highlander remake script has been through several writers so far, including Matt Holloway (Punisher: War Zone), and Melissa Rosenberg (the last several Twilight movies). Rosenberg’s Twilight connection is enough to make an old Highlander fan’s hair stand on end, but hopefully the rewrites will get it into fighting shape. From the sound of things, it seems as if they’re sticking pretty closely to the premise of the first film. Which, given how the various Highlander sequels turned out, can only be a good thing.