“THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!”
Highlander is my number one guilty pleasure movie, so you can imagine how I felt when I woke up earlier this week. Geralt of Rivia, sorry Henry Cavill, has his soul set on rebooting Highlander with Lionsgate. Not only is Cavill looking to star in the film, but it is going to be directed by Chad Stahleski. Stahelski…the same man who has made John Wick, the best action franchise since the turn of the century.
Cavill. Stahelski. They are making Highlander. What is this world coming too??
For those not in the know, Highlander was first made in 1986. Christopher Lambert starred as Connor MacLeod, an immortal Scottish warrior who has lived through centuries with various aliases. MacLeod’s strength is tested when he is confronted by another immortal, someone from his far past who is hellbent on acquiring the ultimate “Prize.”
The film also starred the late Sean Connery as Ramirez, Roxanne Hart as Brenda Wyatt and Clancy Brown as Kurgan.
It is a preposterous premise. The story was originally written by Gregory Widen, and he worked on the original screenplay with Peter Bellwood and Larry Ferguson. Now it is going into the hands of Ryan J. Condal and Kerry Williamson. Who are they? Great question, let’s find out.
Ryan J. Condal has been a writer for two major motion pictures: Hercules (2014) and Rampage (2018). He has been a busy producer during that time, but his writing credits get a major bump when you notice he is writing House Of The Dragon for HBO which comes out in 2022.
Kerry Williamson has been a writer for two movies; Alex Cross (2012) and What Happened On Monday (2017). I have not seen either.
According to Deadline, “Neal H. Moritz and Josh Davis are producing the project. Amanda Lewis, Patrick Wachsberger and Gregory Widen will exec produce. Peter Davis, the original producer of the first film, was also on board to produce before his death this past February.”
The backers behind this project have seen Highlander go through many different iterations. It starts back in the late 2000s when my cousin and I recasted our own reboot, the Ryan Reynolds rumors and now I am reading Justin Lin was an option. It has all ended with Cavill at the helm, a man who’s popularity is at it’s all-time highest.
Let’s look at the klout of Henry Cavill right now: He arrives on the seen as Superman in Man Of Steel (2013) and becomes a staple in the DC movie universe. There were some clunkers such as The Man From U.N.C.L.E in 2015 and Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice in 2016 and Justice League in 2017.
How does he rebound…only with an all-time action movie in Mission Impossible – Fallout (2018). The climb back up the mountain continued when he took a beloved franchise in the Witcher and elevated it with a great performance of Geralt. Last year he was witty in the entertaining Enola Holmes (2020) and Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) was better than anyone expected.
How will this fantastical tale translate to the modern era? I have no idea. It will be a challenge. What personally gives me the most confidence is that Cavill is a fan of the fantasy. He was a fan of The Witcher before taking the part. He has talked Dungeon & Dragons before. Cavill embraces this genre.
We can’t forget that it is Chad Stahelski is directing. Since 2014, everything he has touched is gold. He has his hands in a TON of future projects including but not limited to Ghost Of Tsushima, Sandman Slim, Rain, and The Continental.
“I’ve been a huge fan of the original property since I saw it in high school,” Stahelski previously told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
We end this purely happy experience with a HUGE question. Who is tackling the soundtrack of Highlander. It has to be a rock band. It has to be a vibe. I do not know music well enough to give a true option, but the only thing I demand is that they try and match the energy and skills of Queen.
Pulling a Big Cat. One final question. How will Cavill deliver “There can be only one?” line? And how will the villain (may Kurgan?) bring out the malicious nature of that line?
I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS!