The last live-action Highlander film was the 2007 TV movie Highlander: The Source, and in the time since then, the series has been in a constant state of flux, with directors and stars coming and going for a potential reboot, but nothing ever truly coalescing. But like an immortal who endures so long as he's not decapitated, the Highlander reboot is not yet dead, and its head remains firmly in place atop its neck. In fact, the long-awaited reboot of the franchise is finally taking a big step forward, as screenwriter Ryan Condal has delivered a script for the film to Lionsgate.
This is huge news for a film that has been in some stage of development since 2008. Back in 2016, John Wick helmer Chad Stahelski came aboard to direct the Highlander project, so now with a script and a director locked in, perhaps this thing will finally get moving. According to Deadline, Lionsgate is very happy with Ryan Condal's script and are setting pre-production to begin in October. The story for the reboot is unsurprisingly being set up to allow for potential sequels, with a possible trilogy in mind. For those unfamiliar with Ryan Condal's work, he was one of the writers on the upcoming Dwayne Johnson film Rampage, and he is the co-creator, executive producer and showrunner of USA's alien occupation series, Colony.
With pre-production set to begin later this year, hopefully casting will ramp up before too long. Over this film's long saga to the screen, everyone from Ryan Reynolds to Tom Cruise has been attached in one capacity or another. A few years back, it was reported that the man behind Drax the Destroyer, Dave Bautista, would be taking on the villainous role of The Kurgan in the film but it is unclear if that is still the case. If the Highlander reboot does serve as a remake of the original 1986 B-movie and retell the story of Connor MacLeod, hopefully it will do so in a way that feels fresh and revitalizes the franchise. Personally I was always a bigger fan of Duncan MacLeod from the TV series, but you know, different strokes.
I'm excited to see what the combination of Chad Stahelski's direction and Ryan Condal's script can do for the Highlander franchise, which feels like it has never truly lived up to its potential. Ryan Condal's show Colony is a complex family drama that serves as a compelling allegory to issues of terrorism and occupation, and Chad Stahelski has previously spoken about this being John Wick with swords. So with Stahelski's slick action paired with a great script, this reboot has the potential to really elevate this franchise above its origins. The Highlander mythology is ripe for a serious take, and we don't get nearly enough sword-fighting in movies. I don't know what the nostalgia level is for Highlander, but a battle of immortals who pull swords seemingly out of nowhere should have pretty universal appeal, just so long as Queen is still featured heavily on the soundtrack.
We'll keep you updated as soon as we hear more on the Highlander reboot and for all the latest on why keeping your head attached is the secret to a long life, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.