Just a few days after John Wick co-director David Leitch signed on for Deadpool 2, his collaborator, Chad Stahelski has lined up a new film franchise as well. Stahelski has officially joined the cinematic reboot of the Highlander films.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the story about Stahelski’s Highlander, which may be his next movie after John Wick Chapter 2. “I’ve been a huge fan of the original property since I saw it in high school,” said Stahelski in a statement to THR. “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.”
Because of Stahelski’s background in stunts and his experience as a second unit director, he may be well suited for Highlander, which was an unexpected success in 1986. The original Highlander was directed by Russell Mulcahy, with Christopher Lambert as the immortal Connor MacLeod, alongside Sean Connery as his mentor, Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez, and Clancy Brown as their nemesis, the Kurgan. The film spawned a few theatrical sequels, as well as a Highlander TV series starring Adrian Paul as Duncan MacLeod, Connor’s younger clansman and protégé.
The new Highlander is being produced by Lionsgate, and there isn’t currently a writer attached to the remake. For whoever takes up the challenge, we have a few suggestions. To begin, dump the mythology and start over. The first Highlander was fantastic, and the TV series was also entertaining. But the backstory of the films and the television show became so convoluted and confusing that it badly needs a fresh start. This means that the new Highlander should only keep the best aspects of the original: a centuries long battle between immortals for “The Prize,” which can only be won by the last person to survive. Epic sword fights are a must, since immortals can only be killed by beheading. And of course, “There can only be one” is such a great catchphrase that it has to stay. Everything else can go, even Connor. Because as much as we love that film, we’ve seen Connor’s story. We don’t need to see it again.
Another thing to consider would be giving a prominent role in the movie to a female character. Roxanne Hart’s Brenda Wyatt was a good audience surrogate in the first movie as she investigated Connor’s life and became his lover. However, female immortals were largely absent on the big screen, and that seems like something that should be changed in the current reboot. There’s really no reason why a woman can’t be an unrepentant killer like the Kurgan or even the lead heroine like Connor. If anything, it would be very interesting to see an immortal woman deal with the constraints of society throughout the ages while kicking ass and taking heads along the way.
What do you want to see in the Highlander reboot movie? Draw your swords and share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Image: 20th Century Fox