When Clancy Brown said “There can only be one” in Russell Mulcahy’s Highlander, he clearly wasn’t referring to the movie itself. In the years that followed, there was a total of four sequels, one television show, and even an anime flick for some reason. By in large, the additional content has been received negatively by fans and critics alike; Highlander II: The Quickening considered among the worst films ever made. But in 2021, the franchise might actually have a shot at redemption with the announcement of a Highlander reboot directed by the man behind John Wick, Chad Stahelski, and fronted by pop culture’s beefcake poster boy, Henry Cavill.
For the uninitiated, the premise of the original Highlander – starring Christopher Lambert, Clancy Brown, Sean Connery, and Roxanne Hart – involves an ongoing conflict between immortal warriors spanning all throughout history. The evil immortals who covet more power hunt down other their fellow immortals to absorb their energy and eventually become the last one standing, which earns them the fabled “prize” (the collective power of every other immortal). Silly concept? For sure. A fun watch? Also yes… at least the first one.
“I’ve been a fan of Highlander since I was lad,” the former Man of Steel notes on Instagram.
“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.”
Both parties find themselves very comfortable in their roles. Currently starring as Geralt of Rivia on Netflix’s hit fantasy adaptation of The Witcher, it won’t exactly be a dramatic leap for Henry Cavill to step into the Highlander cinematic universe, especially considering the lifelong fandom. Chad Stahelski, on the other hand, has proven his mastery over action sequences time and time again, imprinting his own language of kinetic cinematography upon the landscape. Stahelski himself has described the upcoming project as “John Wick with swords”, and nor will it be the only project he’s undertaking on the horizon in the same category. A few months prior, Sony Pictures and PlayStation Productions revealed the action auteur is attached to a Ghost of Tsushima adaptation.
Neal H. Moritz, Josh Davis, and Stahelski’s longtime collaborator / John Wick co-creator David Leitch have signed on to produce; while Amanda Lewis, Patrick Wachsberger, and Gregory Widen will executive produce. The Highlander reboot screenplay is being penned by Kerry Williamson of Alex Cross and What Happened To Monday fame.
Further casting details and production timelines have yet to be announced – check out the OG 1986 Highlander trailer below.