‘Highlander’ Reboot Gets New Director & Production Start Date

Published 10 months ago by

highlander reboot director Highlander Reboot Gets New Director & Production Start Date

The Highlander reboot has been passed around a number of times – prompting endless “There can be only one!” jokes in the process – without ever reaching the pre-production stage. It began when Fast & Furious helmer Justin Lin dropped out as director, after which he was replaced by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later), with Ryan Reynolds being lined up to star. However, Fresnadillo wound up leaving the project too and finally, around six months later, Reynolds formally withdrew his candidacy, leaving the film is need of both a new director and star.

Summit is still on the lookout for a proper leading man to become the next incarnation of Connor MacLeod, but the studio has found another director for the project – one whose intention is to begin principal photography within the next year, drawing from the script draft written by Matt Holloway and Art Marcum (Iron Man, Punisher: War Zone).

Deadline is reporting that Oscar-nominated visual effects artist Cedric Nicolas-Troyan is set to take the helm on Highlander 2.0, after he impressed studio heads with a pitch that he began working on during this past summer. Holloway and Marcum’s script is reported to stick closely to the narrative format of the original 1986 film, starring Christopher Lambert as someone who, at first glance, seems to be an ordinary man; yet, in reality, is an immortal Scottish warrior, who has spent centuries battling others of his kind.

Troyan served as a visual effects supervisor/artist on projects like The Ring as well as the first and second Pirates of the Caribbean movies, before he was hired as a VFX supervisor/second unit director for Snow White and the Huntsman. He continued to go with stylish fairy tale re-imaginings thereafter, by serving as a second unit director on Maleficent – Disney’s upcoming revisionist version of Sleeping Beauty – and told Deadline that part of the reason he’s decided to tackle the Highlander reboot is so that he may give the story “a modern, visceral take,” to update the 1980s stylistic choices of the source movie.

highlander reboot cast Highlander Reboot Gets New Director & Production Start Date

According to the Deadline report, Troyan is a longtime Highlander fanatic and has a particular fondness for the TV series spinoff of the original movie, which aired from 1992 to 1998. It seems that a different writer is going to be brought aboard to do a quick pass on the script for the reboot (as supervised by Troyan), so as to emphasize the particular elements of the franchise mythology that the project’s new director feels must be addressed right off the bat.

Here is what that entails, as Troyan put it in his own words:

“For me, it all comes down to that first movie, but there are great themes in the show. It’s the rare cross-genre concept that has elements of the Western, time travel, fantasy, action, contemporary. There are universal themes, but of course you need to provide the answers like the first film did. Who are these guys with swords? Why are they fighting each other? What is the prize and how are they drawn to each other? There is far more at work here I want to explore than the lightning that happens during the Quickening.”

Casting will get underway after the script touchup, with the intention of making a 2014 start date. The plan is to emulate the casting for the original movie – where the lesser-known Lambert was mentored by screen icon Sean Connery – and find “a younger emerging guy” to headline, opposite a more seasoned leading man as his costar. Reynolds got a lukewarm-to-cold reception when he was involved with the project, but this different approach (i.e. no well-established A-lister for the lead) will probably go over better with the Highlander fanbase.

A 2015 release date might be feasible for the Highlander reboot, depending on how early it begins shooting in 2014 (assuming there are no further delays). As always, we shall keep you posted.


Source: Deadline

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  1. Aidan Turner as Connor Macleod would be cool, maybe looks a bit too young though to play someone who’s hundreds of years old :)

  2. YES!

    • ron pearlmen in the connery role

      • Yes! And I think Thomas Jane as Connor would be perfect, he sort of has that same glare that Lambert had. Plus him and Ron have worked together before too. If they try to get some young hot actors like I have a feeling they will, then the movie is going to flop.

  3. I so don’t want it to as I am a huge fan of the original, but guaranteed this will suck…

    • 2nd that who else other than Clancy Brown can pull off the insane Kurgan AKA Victor Kruger? (no relation to Freddie)

      • I’m fairly certain nobody was going to mistake a connection to Freddy Krueger man…

        • I was being sarcastic, tone can be difficult to convey in text.

      • Tom Hardy

    • From the way the story was told, to the actors involved and even the music (done by Queen) the original was lightning in a bottle. They have been trying to recapture that lightning since without much success (only the TV series managed any measure of worthiness) So I highly doubt a “modern” reboot will manage to do what has eluded them since the 80′s.

      This reboot will suck as badly as others like Conan the Barbarian or Fright Night. If is was good and still holds up…..leave it alone.

      • No they have to spend all of this time and effort to re-do something that has already been done to prove they can be it better, instead of you know acutally spending the time to come up with something remotely new.

        • Unfortunately it seems that moviegoers have been begging for some original ideas/scripts, and then when those movies actually get made we don’t go see them as much ($$) as Sequels. Movies like Transformers I-III, F&F 1-6, Pirates of the Caribbean 1-4, Star Trek 1-2, All the Marvel movies, the Borne movies, etc etc etc all do better than a lot of original movies that we as moviegoers have been asking for. So what we really need to do is vote with our wallets.

          However that is difficult to do when an original movie costs the same as a sequel to see in the theater, and with the sequel we know exactly what we are getting. With an original, we cross our fingers that we spend our money on something worthy. It’s ironic the Studios see disappointing ticket sales for original movies that they make because we all ask for them, yet they take close to 80% of the first 2 weeks ticket sales that theaters HAVE to charge so much for us to see them. Then they wonder why we all go see established franchises.

          IMHO, if the Studios would take less of the ticket prices in the first two weeks so theaters could make a little more money, their popcorn/drinks/candy would cost less than a car payment, and we would see more movies each month!

      • Wow. I agreed with you right up until Fright Night and suggesting Highlander holds up well.
        The Fright Night remake (not reboot) was miles better than the original. That’s just… like. True.
        And despite my undying love for Highlander, it may be a special and dare I say magical movie, but it does NOT hold up well.
        It’s still entertaining as hell, but no. The effects are outdated, the editing seems kitschy by today’s standards, the sword fights were mostly slow, they got some historical facts way wrong, Fasil’s backflips have no right to exist at all, apparently nobody knew how to do wire removal for this movie, and the animated ‘prize’ at the end looks hokey.
        Highlander fans don’t want to admit this because they love the movie.
        I do too. However I’m also not against a remake. If it sucks, we will always have the original. Not to mention we can make more “There can be only one” jokes.
        So bring it on. It may not be lightning in a bottle again, but I’d love to see something well polished.

        • You forgot music. No one can replace Queen.

  4. You know it will be Depp or Willis. hahaha

  5. As aforementioned, ‘There can be only one’. Nevertheless, if they still have the crazy idea of making one, I would suggest Charlie Hunnam as MacLeod and Tom Hiddleston or Travis Fimmel as The Kurgan.

    The tricky one is the role of Ramirez. Anthony Hopkins would have been great but I think he is old to play the part.

    • Hunman really? that guy cannot act. Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez probably shouldn’t be played by a Scot or a Welshman!

      • He should be played by an Egyptian.

      • Agreed, Hunman cannot act, but very badly.

  6. For the role of Ramirez; Antonio Banderas.

    • Now that’s more like it!

    • I was thinking of him, mostly because of his prior work as Zorro.

      Then I started thinking of others with sword experience and Mandy Patinkin came to mind as someone else who could maybe pull of Ramirez.

      • Zorro and Princes Bride use a completely different style of swordsmanship. So no to Banderas or Patinkin. I think the guy that played Oberyn on Game of Thrones would be a good Ramirez.

  7. Would Love to see this rebooted, loved the original. Poor old Connor wandering through the centuries all alone, all his loved ones dying before him, who wants to live forever……gets me just thinking about it.

  8. How is someone “semi-immortal”? What does that even mean ?

    • Not sure you can really? in the original movie the only way they can die is from being beheaded, they don’t age, get sick or drowned so I guess that is kind of semi-immortal?

  9. I like the original as well but it’s not a great movie by any standard.
    Peoples judgement is often clouded by nostalgia.
    At least give the movie a chance before u consider it a write-off.

  10. The music was an integral part of the film. One cannot live without the other. I’d rather they use Queen’s music again. Perhaps a bit updated or having some bands playing the hits we love so much.

  11. I think my judgement is definitely clouded by nostalgia, but I’m not going to fight it. Feel the stag mcloud!

  12. If he has a fondness for the show and movie, I believe that means he has a good understanding of the characters and the history of the Highlander series. Personally I liked to see the introduction of a 3rd Macleod and bring in Duncan to be his mentor. Plus it would give Duncan a better outing than the crapfest of The Source.

  13. Connor Mcloud – Gerald Butler

    Remierez – Javier Badhem

    Kurgan Jason Mamoa ( the new Conan, cant think of anyone else)

  14. Muse should do the music!

    • +1
      The only choice really.
      I mean come on, “Princes of the Universe” anyone?!

  15. just confirmed they got matt damon to star opposite pepe serna. wow! so cool, cant wait!

  16. God I really hope they do this justice, I was seriously obsessed with the movie and the show in the 90′s had the whole series on VHS took up like four shelves lol. this is one of the few times where i wouldn’t mind a reboot of a childhood favorite, but it has to be done right and not fall into the trap of being a typical summer blockbuster ie., all CGI action and no substance. hope they get better writers on it too.

  17. Thomas Jane as McCloud!

  18. Doubt they can top the first one, but I will give this a watch.

  19. they should do highlander in the distant future.

  20. Well I’m not sure how to take this news. A 2nd unit director is given the task of directing a big budget movie ( I assume) , who has no experience in directing alone before. You would think there is some director out there who is familiar with the Highlander lore, would be interested in tackling it to make it their own. Maybe there are too many problems with it we’re not privy too, scaring away actors & directors. I mean this has been going on since 2011, and its almost 2014 !
    Maybe Troyan will be a surprise find as a director. I hope so for Highlanders sake. There is so much potential in it regarding Immortals even the original didnt touch upon.

  21. Agree with Thomas Jane or Gerrard Butler for McCloud , or maybe Hugh Jackman?

    Javier Badhem would be good for Ramirez as well.

    Kurgan, recently seen Clancy Brown in the Sleepy Hollow TV series, he could still pull it off, if not, maybe Michael Shannon or Ron Pearlman.

    Music, agree to keep the same soundtrack more or less, but I would get Aerosmith to re-record it.

    Never got the attraction of the TV series , hope the director being a fan of it doesn’t have a negative impact, if the new director wants an assistant I’m available, no experience but lots of ideas ;)

    • I like the idea of Gerard Butler as Conner. He’s Scots, so that works, he can totally do the fighting, and he’s a not-too-bad actor. For Kurgan, maybe Dave Bautista? He has a good, gravelly voice, and he won me over on Guardians of The Galaxy. As for Ramirez, maybe Pedro Pascal.

  22. The franchise could definitely benefit from a re-boot. The story itself wouldn’t suffer due to age (much like the characters) and if anything, the effects could be a bit more smoothed and polished. A solid cast could make this a winner. A few ideas have been rolling around and I think a few winners could be:

    Connor – David Tenant or Kevin McKidd
    Ramirez – Luke Evans or Oded Fehr
    Kurgan – Ray Stevenson or Tom Hardy

    I do agree with a lot of the posts that the music by Queen paired up really well with the movies and series. A better musical match might be hard to find. No reason not to stick with what works.

  23. “Ramirez” is one of the oldest immortals he was living in egypt and asia (the katana sword!) and in Spain in 1536 when he goes to the higlands, Ramirez is not spanish so he could be blond… and fluent in many languajes…

    IMHO I think in Viggo Peter Mortensen is the best for play Ramirez the Argentine-Danish-American actor and also you´ll get the LOTR fanbase in the pocket.-

  24. Michael Shannon most definitely as someone, perhaps Kurgan. Poor typecast sap. Maybe Jason Mamoa. Also agreed on Viggo. I like the nobody actor for Connor. Worked well enough with Superman. Back to the Brandon Routh version even (not his fault fans hated that movie. Then again for the director himself being a nobody Connor may have to be an a-lister just to get attention.

  25. Ewan MacGregor. I mean he’s got sword skills and oh… He’s Scottish!!

  26. Thomas Jayne as Connor MacCleod, Antonio Banderas as Ramirez and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the Kurgan.

    • Jayne is too old for the role.

  27. Cast a no body and it will suck for sure.

  28. I’ve been practicing martial arts for 30 years. I’m 54 but have been told that I look 40.
    Jodo (4ft staff) is my expertise, with laser light and led light to distract my opponent, am not unattractive and worked in radio, so my speech is good!
    Would like to use my expertise in a Highlander episode or movie. nelnc@citcom.net.

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