The remake of Highlander has been “in the works” for so long that we honestly forgot that those works existed, like a disused factory on the outskirts of town. However, turns out that someone was keeping the lights on, as a new director has suddenly been appointed.
THR reports that John Wick co-director Chad Stahelski will be the one, the only one, to take on the story of immortals who battle each other through the centuries in the hopes of being the last man standing and claiming “the prize.”
Stahelski told the site that “I’ve been a huge fan of the original property since I saw it in high school. Such great themes of immortality, love, and identity are all wrapped up in such colorful mythology. I can’t think of a better property that gives the opportunity to create interesting characters, mythic themes and action set pieces.”
Stahelski is currently working solo on the upcoming John Wick: Chapter 2, while David Leitch, his co-director on the first movie, has moved on to non-Wick related films including next year’s spy thriller The Coldest City and, of course, Deadpool 2.
A new version of Russell Mulcahy’s 1986 original has been in progress since 2008. Over that time, we’ve heard various rumours about who would direct and who would star. Ryan Reynolds was the name that was thrown around a lot when it came to Connor MacLeod (of the clan MacLeod) before dropping out and it looked like Guardians Of The Galaxy‘s Dave Bautista would be playing growling villain The Kurgan at one point. Behind the camera, we’ve seen names like Justin Lin (Fast & Furious, Star Trek Beyond), Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) and Cedric Nicolas-Troyan (The Huntsman: Winter’s War) come and go.
There’s no word on casting at this point (We’re workshopping a bit about Keanu Reeves being an actual Highlander but, to be honest, it’s not that great), but THR notes that Lionsgate is currently looking for new writers for the movie, which suggests that it’s probably a square one scenario.
How do we feel about a Highlander remake? Well, it’s a film that we love, but also one that feels very firmly rooted in the 1980s thanks to Mulcahy’s visual style and that amazing Queen soundtrack. A new version would have to really bring something new if it was going to be anything other than a slightly daft fantasy action movie. Still, we love John Wick (who doesn’t?) so we’re interested to see what Stahelski is going to bring to it. If he does turn out to be the only one to bring it to the big screen.
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