‘Highlander’ Reboot Loses Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 16th, 2014 at 9:23 am,

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo keeps teetering on the edge of directing a tentpole project, but has come up short each time. The 28 Weeks Later director was tapped for a Bioshock movie and The Crow reboot, but his vision ultimately failed to make it past the pre-production stage of development.

Now Fresnadillo has withdrawn from Summit’s Highlander reboot, which has Ryan Reynolds onboard as the next member of Clan MacLeod. The filmmaker’s decision to withdraw from The Crow contributed to Bradley Cooper departing - could he have a similar effect on Reynolds’ involvement with Highlander?

Deadline chalks up Fresnadillo leaving Highlander to creative differences, as he and Summit are reported to have reached an impasse over their differing views on what the film should be. The project still has producer Neal H. Moritz and Justin Lin (director of Fast and the Furious 3-6) set as executive producer, even though Lin dropped out as director last year. Moreover, the initial script from Matt Holloway and Art Marcum (Iron Man, Punisher: War Zone) was recently given a rewrite by Noah Oppenheim – who is also working on scripts for the WarGames remake and Americanized version of Snabba Cash (a.k.a. Easy Money).

That’s all to say, Summit has invested too much in the project to let it fall by the wayside now; so, you can expect an update on Fresnadillo’s possible replacement in the foreseeable future. Similarly, Reynolds doesn’t look to be going anywhere for the time being – though, that could change, depending on when Deadpool gets the green-light from Fox (and how the timing affects Reynolds’ availability for Highlander).

Ryan Reynolds MacLeod Highlander Highlander Reboot Loses Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

Highlander is the rare geek franchise that many fans seem to agree should be rebooted, following on the heels of subpar past installments; not to mention, the original 1986 fantasy-adventure film has (arguably) not aged as well as other properties from that decade currently being dusted off for the new century (see: RoboCop). However, the casting of Reynolds hasn’t inspired the support from the fanbase it was intended to generate, so anticipation for this reboot in general remains somewhat lukewarm (for the time being, that is).

As for Fresnadillo: it’s becoming more and more transparent that the Hollywood studio system just doesn’t work for him. The Spanish filmmaker released the supernatural horror flick Intruders earlier this year, but has yet to fully capitalize on the promise he showed with 28 Weeks Later. Nonetheless, many executives and actors alike wish to work with Fresnadillo – as further evidenced by his being on the wish list to direct Dawn of the Planet of the Apes this year – so expect him to find new employment sooner, rather than later.

More on the Highlander reboot as the story develops.


Source: Deadline

TAGS: Highlander
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  1. They should just leave it ! Really no need for a reboot,and for sure not like this !

    • sorry Highlander needs a reboot but Ryan Rynolds should not been casted for the role.

      • No need for sorries,glad you have your own mind about it ! And totally agree with you and Ryan,he would be the wrong guy for that !

        • cool, the problem with Ryan is he is a good actor for some movies but the guy cant carry a movie on his own he needs a powerhouse actor to help him out i.e. Safehouse has Denzel.

          • As I have said many times……not all actors are right for all roles. RR has a certain niche quality that I don’t think is appropriate to being the Highlander (least if which is I don’t buy him as a 16th century Scottish Warrior.)

  2. In the famous words “There can be only one”

  3. Highlander is a great premise. The first movie and the TV series were uneven, but had a lot of memorable moments. A reboot with the right elements could be awesome! But not Ryan Reynolds. I like him, but not in this. The European/international mystique is key to this series. Ryan is perky American cute. Utterly wrong!

    • his Canadian but i know what you saying lol

  4. Don’t remake Highlander. Forget calling it a reboot. I’m one of the fans of the original who hated all the sequels and tv stuff. Please leave it alone.

  5. There should’ve been only one…

  6. I refuse!! Ok, if Freddy rose up from the grave and endorsed it, I would see it. What are the chances of that? :D


  7. Thank god. Now Reynolds can drop, and the movie can complete start development over again

  8. He is a smart guy get out while you can Ryan reniolds films are a joke mostly.

  9. Heath Ledger would’ve been perfect for a Highlander movie… I miss the dude

  10. I still CANNOT believe any thinking person would cast Reynolds
    in that role
    I like him but NOT in this role

  11. Agreed. Wife and I really like Ryan Reynolds, but not for this role. Why is it so unfeasible to cast, oh I dunno, a SCOT in the role of a Scottish Highlander?????

    Really, Summit? As a studio you can’t see how the fans would pay to see a rebooted Highlander franchise that was consistent, and took the best aspects of the movies/TV series to make it? We don’t want a BIG NAME actor in the lead, just one that can believably play the part. For this type of a story, wouldn’t an unknown actor make the character more believable anyway?

    Please Summit, do the movie the right way. Find a good Scottish actor to play the immortal Scot, keep the cheesiness out of the movie, and find a director with the passion to do the idea justice. It looks like the creator, Gregory Widen, is still alive so how about having him on board to do the movie justice?

    • You don’t want to hear Reynolds do a Scottish accent????
      I hope Widen’s still got it. I think he tried to relive his Highlander glory with The Prophecy.
      “Study ya math, kids. Key… to the univuss.”

      • I hear that. The Prophecy had Highlander written all over it.


  12. I’d rather see Tom Jane play Mccleod.

    • I give you this: Tom Jane’s better than Ryan Reynolds by a long sight. Gerard Butler might be good. Though the movie worked because McLeod was not huge, and the Kurgan was a giant. How about James McAvoy. Soulful and against type. How ’bout a tv guy? Aaron Paul’s got the right kind of intensity.(he’d have to bulk a little)
      But who’s the Kurgan? Are there any guys with that kind of menace who aren’t wrestlers?

      • I think Jason Momoa from Game of Thrones and Conan the Barbarian would be a perfect Kurgan for a modern day Highlander. His fight choreography skills are beyond awesome. He’s got the size, voice, and overall presence to be The Kurgan.

        • That’s a good call. I could definitely see that working.

        • Except for the simple fact he doesn’t LOOK Scottish! Now if you want to switch it up, move it to Polynesia and call it “The Islander” fine but he has got to at least LOOK like a Scotsman.

          • oh, nm I skipped over the you mentioning the Kurgan…edit button PLEASE!

            (of course he doesn’t look Russian either ;) )

      • Russian villains are very 80s.

    • I know its like Tom Jane and Christopher Lambert are related the way they look!

  13. Highlander (the first movie) was good, but no reboot needed. Oh, and the only fault with #1 is Christopher Lambert had too fat of a forehead!

    • On Paltrow, why not? The reporter, who I think was a police analyst, actually, was the least interesting thing about the story anyway. Michell Monaghan is hotter, and pluckier though

  14. Ryan Reynolds…killed Deadpool, Green Lantern, and now Highlander…grrreeeeeeeaaattttttttt!

  15. They need to just give up on this, how well have these others reboots/remakes done recently?

  16. It depends on the movie. Some like Psycho were done good enough the first time that they don’t need a reboot (What a waste of money that was to make. It was basically the original nearly verbatim but with different actors). I saw Highlander for the first time in many years not too long ago. It is a movie that could do well with the right touch. It’d need a better script and director, and then good promo, but it really could be a mony maker if it’s done right

  17. “franchise that many fans seem to agree should be rebooted”

    Maybe a few “fans” agree on rebooting but I think if you are truly a fan of the franchise you wouldn’t want this franchise tampered with. The original was lightning in a bottle and was proven time and time again with them trying to do unsuccessful sequels. This venture will end up in the dame fail pile as most of the other remakes so Fresnadillo made a smart decision to not be attached to this turkey in the making anymore.

  18. “The filmmaker’s decision to withdraw from The Crow contributed to Bradley Cooper departing – could he have a similar effect on Reynolds’ involvement with Highlander?”

    We can only hope. Reynolds is box office poison. Really, he is just awful. Maybe Hollywood will get smart and take polls like elections to see who we the viewers want. Of course, if that happened then Reynolds would never work again… we can only hope. Really, he is just awful.

  19. I can’t imagine anything Highlander related without Queen in the soundtrack. So…, I say, only if Metallica does the tribute of Princes of the Universe. Just listen to their cover of Stone Cold Crazy

    • Too true ag, I can’t imagine any Highlander property that isn’t at least touching the original Queen soundtrack, albeit in a newer mixed/sampled or (as you said) tribute version. I wouldn’t sully the soundtrack by placing the original music in any remake/reboot.

      As for Ryan Reynolds, he is definitely not the guy for this movie. I just can’t see him in this role in any way, shape or form.
      I think from the picture of Fresnadillo above that he would make a better MacLeod than RR.

      Here’s my submission for Connor:

      I’d like to see Thomas Brodie-Sangster play him as a youth.
      I think Cillian Murphy might play a good Connor, he’s got that ‘I’m a little off’ otherworld vibe going on. (When asked “Where you from Nash?”, picture him staring at the cop Garfield and saying “Lot’s of different places”)
      James Mcavoy could be a good one too, if you could get past his ‘Prof X’ image.
      I think Jason Momoa would play a great Kurgan.

  20. Maybe Hollywood will take the hint….

  21. I will be honest, i have never seen one highlander related thing other than the trailer for the first one and will say that i was very surprised i think if i get the chance i will watch during my free time because it looks really cool and looks like a great time. Then i watched the trailer for the sequel and it looked a lot less entertaining so i may steer clear of that, if any of you have an opinion on any of the sequels let me know not sure if i would see them. I think i would like a reboot and though i think reynolds isn’t the greatest actor in the world i think he can at least pull off the role for the movie but i’m probably the best to judge for that since all i have seen are the trailers. I guess i really want to see the movie done with modern day effects and modern day writing and all that stuff, i’m bummed that they lost the director he sounded like a pretty good one for the project and now it looks like the project may go through development hell, which i bet is not the most pleasant thing in the world, and the idea that twilight scribes are writing it makes me a little worried actually just the word twilight makes me want to punch a wall, hopefully it won’t be anything like those awful excuses for movies. All in all fill me in on Highlander because i honestly don’t know that much about it, a reboot sounds pretty cool, hopefully it doesn’t go through too much of development hell, and hopefully (because of the twilight scribes) it doesn’t suck.

    • Conor, I will say this: Highlander is on my list of The Top Twenty Movies You Have To Show Your Son. and Highlander Two is in my Bottom Five Worst Movies I’ve Ever Seen. So you’re right not to look at the second one. The original is required viewing for dudes. Up there with The Dirty Dozen and The Good The Bad and The Ugly.

  22. Maybe they can get like a game of thrones director I like that show and I can see that working out and looking cool