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Thoughts on the Planned Highlander Reboot

May 31, 2021 | Posted by Steve Gustafson

Now this is something I can get behind. Highlander is one of those movies that had a great concept, a decent execution, but left plenty of meat on the bone that was just waiting for time to catch up on. 

With news of the reboot picking up momentum, let’s hit some key points for those who aren’t hip to this cult classic. 

The movie starred Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Clancy Brown, and Sean Connery and introduced us to an ending of an epic, ageless, battle between immortal warriors. Connor MacLeod (Lambert) was born in the Scottish Highlands in the 16th century and is found by Ramírez (Connery). Ramirez shares with MacLeod they are both immortals who can only be killed by being beheaded. The immortals wage war against each other as there can be only one! Like I said, really cool concept that had huge potential to become a franchise. 

The story comes from the mind of Gregory Widen, who wrote the script as a class assignment while he was an undergraduate in the screenwriting program at UCLA. According to Widen, “The idea of the story was basically a combination of a riff on (Ridley Scott’s) The Duellists – guy wants to finish a duel over years– and a visit I made both to Scotland and the Tower of London armour display, where I thought, ‘What if you owned all this? What if you’d worn it all through history and were giving someone a tour of your life through it?’ That scene is basically in the movie.”

When it came out in 1986 it made $12 million off a $19 million budget, and the reviews were mixed. Still, it became a cult classic and went on to have some sequels, a really awesome television spinoff, some books, and even an animated show!

Which brings us to the reboot. Looks like the super busy Henry Cavill has confirmed his casting in the Highlander relaunch. Cavill responded to the news on his Instagram, saying:

I’ve been a fan of Highlander since I was lad. From the movies in all of their 80s, Queen slathered glory to the
TV show with an actor who looked remarkably like one of my brothers. Being not shy with swords, and having a director as talented as Chad Stahelski at the helm, this is an opportunity like no other. Deep diving into franchise storytelling with all the tools at our disposal, is going to make this an adventure I (and hopefully all of you) shall never forget.

That’s John Wick director Chad Stahelski who will be helming this project and it looks like this has all the right elements to be a worthy chapter to the Highlander franchise. Cavill is racking up some nice franchise rings and I’m excited to see him step into a role that will capitalize on his charisma. I’m hoping they can capture the epic nature of the storyline and tap into what makes it work.

While we’re waiting for the movie, hunt down the TV series adaptation, Highlander: The Series. Lambert was offered a chance to return as Connor MacLeod but passed so they tweaked it a little and introduced a new character, Duncan MacLeod played by Adrian Paul. It added some nice elements to the mythology and Paul brought a nice balance to the character.

Thoughts on the Highlander reboot?

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Highlander, Steve Gustafson