With John Wick 4 all wrapped up, director Chad Stahelski can now prep his long-gestating reboot of the Highlander franchise for Lionsgate. The project has been in the works for ages with multiple directors coming and going, however, a new update suggests that filming is finally happening sooner than expected.
In a new interview piece from The Hollywood Reporter, Henry Cavill is indeed part of the cast netting $5million and the British actor calls the reboot “grounded-in-reality.” The original films eventually made the immortals aliens in the horribly panned sequel Highlander II: The Quickening and then backtracked from that rather quickly.
Next year he’ll shoot Highlander, a new version on the immortal swordsman action-fantasy (which sources say netted the actor at least a $5 million payday). Cavill says Stahelski’s vision is a more grounded-in-reality take than the original movies and show, and will likely play a bit more like a modern tragedy.
It’s still unclear what role Cavill is taking in the reboot and is currently shooting Matthew Vaughn’s ode to 80’s action movies with the spy flick Argylle.
HIGHLANDER – A Scottish clansman named Connor MacLeod discovers his true identity as a member of a legion of immortals. He then embarks on a legendary journey spanning continents and centuries, eventually landing in modern-day New York City. Connor faces his ultimate test when other immortals begin to appear in the city, leading to a titanic showdown where only one can claim victory.
Here is what Chad Stahelski had to say about the project back in the summer of 2020.
“As far as Highlander goes, it’s a project I’ve been working on for a little over three years now. It’s a project that’s not only near and dear to my heart but also the other creative people that are involved in it. It’s something that we feel we’ve got a good direction on. It’s just a tough nut to crack because the Highlander property is so involved and the mythology is so deep. But to try and make it our own, and be somewhat true to the original, yet do it in a way that makes it ours, is a little tricky. We don’t want to do a remake. We don’t want to do a reinvention. We want to do something that’s fresh, that utilizes the mythology of what everyone loves from the first movie. To make a good film is hard, to make a great film is even harder. We choose challenging projects in trying to be new and diverse — at least something that the audience hasn’t exactly seen our way yet. So, time is always a good thing, but I think I have a knack for picking projects that aren’t easy to develop. So, that’s good, I guess.“
“It’s a cool story about… I call it the burden of immortality problem. You’ve got a group of individuals that, for some cosmic reason, have been allocated to be immortal. They have to live through human times and experience the human experience over centuries. The caveat to that being everyone you love or anyone whom you can bond with, you’re going to outlive. And the only people you can relate to, other immortals, the one simple truth is that there can be only one of you at the end. So, that means the only people you can relate to or actually become friends with want to take your head. So, how do you live through life with that kind of loneliness or that kind of burden upon you, knowing that you have to push love aside and you have to push friendship aside? And still learn every fighting style in the world because at the end of it, it’s one big gladiatorial pit over centuries, that there can be only one. And your mission in life is to survive, learn as much as you can and sword fight to the death. Come on. If you can’t get behind that, done to some really cool music, I don’t know what you’re doing.“
Highlander is without a release date, but sometime in 2023 is looking like a good bet.
SOURCE: THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER