John Wick director Chad Stahelski has offered an update on his planned Highlander reboot starring Man of Steel and The Witcher actor Henry Cavill. Buried somewhere within the onslaught of major announcements during San Diego Comic-Con, Stahelski revealed that he is still working hard to get the Cavill-led Highlander reboot off the ground but assured fans that “it is still happening.”
While unveiling the first trailer and details of his other highly anticipated action movie project, John Wick: Chapter 4, Stahelski took the opportunity to provide this rather promising update on Highlander (via DiscussingFilm). If nothing else, the filmmaker sounds determined to bring the property back to life on the big screen, which, for now at least, will hopefully be enough to satisfy Highlander fans.
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Released in 1986, the original Highlander follows swordsman Connor MacLeod, played by Christopher Lambert. Hailing from the Scottish Highlands and known as the Highlander, MacLeod discovers that he is one of a number of immortal warriors who can be killed only by beheading. After living somewhat peacefully for several centuries, MacLeod eventually settles in New York City and is soon dragged back onto the battlefield when his greatest enemy returns to kill him and thus obtain “the Prize” — a special ability that is given to the last living immortal warrior: vast knowledge and the ability to enslave the entire human race.
Highlander has since become a major cult classic, with a reboot being planned since as far back as 2008.
Chad Stahelski Believes Henry Cavill is the Perfect Choice to Resurrect Highlander
Word of Cavill joining the Highlander reboot was first reported in May 2021, and Chad Stahelski has since explained why he believes the Justice League star to be the perfect actor to bring the Highlander franchise back, saying, “Henry obviously has the physicality, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot if you can’t also carry the empathy of a character that’s lived 500 years, and I needed somebody who could do both.”
The filmmaker continued, praising Cavill for his passion for the project and his insight into the idea of immortality. “The character’s arc spans hundreds of years and he becomes many different personalities, all of which extend the timeline of his emotional growth,” Stahelski said. “Then during our first meeting, my suspicions were confirmed: Henry was immediately riffing on the idea of the burden of immortality and you could see in his eyes that he can transform himself from being a young, vibrant soul to an old, wise soul. He had this combination I was fascinated by.”
While little else is known about the direction of the Highlander reboot, Stahelski has described his vision as “a more grounded-in-reality take” when compared to earlier examples of the franchise. The director has also explained that the movie “will likely play a bit more like a modern tragedy.” Which frankly sounds perfect for a modern-day retelling of the Highlander mythos.
While Chad Stahelski continues to work hard on getting his Highlander reboot before cameras, we all have John Wick: Chapter 4 to look forward to, which is set to be theatrically released in the United States on March 24, 2023.