I keep telling myself I’m not going to do this. After each awful Highlander sequel I promise myself I’ll stop caring about this franchise. Stop paying attention to the rumors. Stop paying attention to the product. Then something happens, I convince myself it can’t possibly get any worse, and I allow myself to start caring again. Invariably, Highlander always gets worse.
After the last made for TV movie on the Sci Fi channel, it’s gotten so bad that in fact everyone has finally given up on it. Given up on making sequels that is. Instead of showing some sense and finally leaving the Highlander franchise alone, HR says they’re remaking it.
The “they” in question is Summit Entertainment, and they’ve hired the guys who wrote Favreau’s Iron Man, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, to write the script. The writers of Iron Man, wow that sounds hopeful… no hold it together Josh you’re not going to care about this. Besides it’s a remake of the original Highlander movie which, when you consider it’s the only film of the bunch that was actually any good, is kind of ridiculous. If they’re going to remake something, how about remaking some of the bad ones? Leave the first one alone, and let’s remake Highlander 2. I’m pretty sure that can be done better. Highlander on the other hand, is utterly perfect as is. It’s the whole reason people cared about all this sword swinging and head chopping in the first place.
But no, they won’t remake one of the movies that needs remaking. They’ll remake the good one, the perfect one, the story of immortal humans battling each other in the shadows for an ultimate prize by cutting off each other’s heads with swords. Worse, Summit’s plan seems to revolve around tossing out the edgy, counter-culture elements which made the whole thing so cool in the first place in favor of appealing to a broader audience.
Instead of sticking to the mysterious, edgy, grit which made the first movie so awesome, they’re going to us the remake as a way to demystify it, fill in more background elements, and focus more on romance in order to get chicks to like it. Granted, there has always been a tragically romantic element to the franchise, and in fact that was one of the things which made Highlander: The Series so flat out good. But Highlander doesn’t need MORE romance. It was pretty good as it was. It also doesn’t need to be demystified. That never works. Just look at Star Wars.
Filling in too much backstory was part of the problem with the sequels, which mucked everything up with a bunch of junk that served to derail the entire concept. You thought aliens from the planet Zeist sucked? At least that was in a sequel. Now we’re going to remake the one good Highlander movie in the image of the awful prequels! Holy hell, has any franchise ever hated its fans more than this one? You humiliate us with awful sequel after awful sequel, and now you’re going back retroactively to ruin the one truly good thing about this whole mess? I always say it can’t possibly get any worse for Highlander fans, and then it does. Here we are again. We should have seen this coming. It was the only conceivable humiliation left. Just take our heads Highlander, and be done with it. Don’t weep for McLeod, weep for us.