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.”
The first Highlander film premiered in 1986, with Christopher Lambert starring as the 16th-century immortal Connor MacLeod. The crux of the entire film is a millennia-long struggle between immortal warriors who fight to the death to absorb each other’s powers so that there can be “only one.” While there can be only one Highlander, there certainly wasn’t only one Highlander film in the franchise. Following its success, Highlander II and Highlander III arrived in the 1990s, before Highlander: Endgame premiered at the turn of the new millennia. The fourth film featured Adrian Paul as Duncan MacLeod, who was the protagonist of the six-season show Highlander: The Series, which also spawned a number of short-lived spin-off series in the 1990s.
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,” Stahelski said. “The character’s arc spans hundreds of years and he becomes many different personalities, all of which extend the timeline of his emotional growth. 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. The other thing you could see was his genuineness – he really loves the property and loves what he believes he can do with it, and when an actor has that level of passion, you’re going to get something unique. And finally – you’ve met him, you know – after 10 minutes you’re just like: ‘He’s cool, I want to hang out with this guy.’”
Cavill confirmed that he will be in the Franchise
Since the announcement of Cavill’s involvement was made, the actor himself has responded to the news, confirming he will star and declaring his passion for the franchise. “I’ve been a fan of Highlander since I was lad. From the movies in all of their 80s, Queen slathered glory to the TV show with an actor who looked remarkably like one of my brothers,” Cavill wrote regarding the 80s movie and the 90s television series starring Adrian Paul. “Being not shy with swords, and having a director as talented as Chad Stahelski at the helm, this is an opportunity like no other. Deep diving into franchise storytelling with all the tools at our disposal, is going to make this an adventure I (and hopefully all of you) shall never forget.”
Highlander remake is closer than we’ve ever been
Since that announcement, news about the Highlander reboot has been sparse, but now there is finally an update. In a recent interview with Collider, Stahleski shared a short but positive glimpse at Highlander‘s current development stage. Fans of the cult film will be happy to hear that the Highlander remake is “closer than we’ve ever been.” Check out Stahleski’s full statement below:
We’re in the process of tweaking right now. I think we know what we want. More importantly than anything, we know what we want to make. It’s in the creatives. We know what we’re trying to make. It’s just a matter of getting it to the point where we feel, “Okay, this is it. Let’s go.” But we’re closer than we’ve ever been, so that’s good.
When will be released
At the moment, Stahelski is busy wrapping up work on John Wick: Chapter 4, the much-anticipated next installment in the saga starring Keanu Reeves in the title role, while Cavil is busy with his starring role in The Witcher and other projects, including the upcoming Enola Holmes sequel. As is often the case when it comes to franchise stars in Hollywood, schedules have to align before shooting can happen. We still don’t know when this fabled Highlander reboot will shoot, but it sounds like the key players are still in place to make it happen one day.
Released in 1986, the original Highlander movie centers on an immortal Scottish swordsman named Connor MacLeod. Born in the early 1500s, he is tasked with fighting other ageless individuals in the present day in order to stop the evil Kurgan from winning the Prize, AKA the collected power of all eternals who ever lived. Christopher Lambert starred as the titular character, while Celia Imrie, Clancy Brown, Roxanne Hart, and Sean Connery appear in supporting roles. Over the years, it has spawned four live-action sequels, one animated follow-up, three television series and a web series – and several books, comics and video games, too.
Filming will begin soon
In a November interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Henry Cavill touched on just about every franchise he’s attached to, hoping to be attached to, or has been attached to. Among them, thankfully, Cavill discussed the upcoming Highlander reboot. He confirmed that filming is scheduled to begin in 2022.