’28 Weeks Later’ Helmer In Talks To Direct ‘Highlander’ Remake [Updated]

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 5th, 2013 at 1:44 pm,

[UPDATE: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo has been confirmed to direct the Highlander remake. Scroll down for the details.]

“There can be only one” may be the mantra of the Highlander franchise, but it apparently doesn’t apply to how many reboots/remakes a filmmaker can be attached to.

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo signed up to helm the Crow reboot earlier this year and is now reportedly the top choice to direct another re-fashioning of a cult title: Summit’s Highlander remake, which Fast Five helmer Justin Lin is no longer attached to (he officially left the project about a month ago).

Deadline has learned that Fresnadillo is currently in discussions to sign on as director for the Highlander remake, which Summit is co-financing with RCR Media Group. While he has previously helmed a couple of shorts – and the well-received thriller Intact – most film buffs are likely familiar with Fresnadillo solely for his work on 28 Weeks Later. Longtime Screen Rant readers might also recall that he was up to direct the Bioshock movie at one point, before that project fell into development limbo.

UPDATE: Summit and RCR have confirmed that Fresnadillo will helm the Highlander remake. According to the official press release, production is slated to begin by Spring 2012.

Highlander hit theaters back in 1986 and introduced the world to semi-immortal Scotsman, Connor MacLeod (then played by Christopher Lambert), a warrior who spends centuries battling other members of his race – who all desire to receive the legendary power granted to the last of their kind. It was a cult hit that spawned several sequels, along with both a live-action and animated TV series.

The Highlander franchise ran out of gas (both in terms of creativity and financial profits) a while ago – which, in Hollywood, means it’s time for a reboot.

highlander remake 28 Weeks Later Helmer In Talks To Direct Highlander Remake [Updated]

Christopher Lambert as Connor McLeod

28 Weeks Later isn’t as well-regarded as its predecessor, 28 Days Later, but most fans seem to agree: it proved that Fresnadillo is competent when it comes to the art of contemporary action (shaky cam, frantic editing, etc.). Plus, he seems to have a knack for handling both bloody violence and ingenious set pieces – see: this NSFW helicopter sequence from 28 Weeks Later – which is definitely something that bodes well for his potential work on a Highlander remake.

The new Highlander is currently being scripted by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Punisher: War Zone, Iron Man) – with Twilight‘s Melissa Rosenberg doing a polish. So, all things considered, the project has potential based on the writing and (possible) directing talent involved. Now we just have to wait and see who is eventually brought on to fill Lambert’s boots as MacLeod (let’s just hope it’s not someone like Sam Worthington or Channing Tatum, yes?).

We will keep you posted on the status of the Highlander remake as more information is released.

Source: Deadline

TAGS: Highlander
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  1. Zombies fighting Highlanders,nah. Bad movie idea, fun game…

  2. The Highlander series ran out of creativity after the first film, and it ran out for a good reason. The first film pretty much did the idea justice. It was a great film, but not every idea justifies a half-dozen films and a TV series.

    • True dat, but it’s almost remake-time.

    • You read my mind.

      However, with the gal who wrote Twilight scripts doing a polish, expect it to be lame.

    • yep, it was a STAND ALONE story so to try and do sequels was always a mistake. Sometimes you movie execs need to make your money and MOVE ON.

      I will say though that the TV series was pretty good.

      AS for a remake……have you idiots NOT seen all the horrible Highlander sequels that have been made over the years? Did you also happen to miss how similar recent remake projects (Conan and Fright Night) fell flat on their faces? I heard that Fright Night was actually pretty good but people DON’T want remakes of original shows they STILL enjoy. Learn your lessons and save your money for a more deserving and original premise.

      • Not all remakes are bad. The Thing (Kurt Russell), The Fly, Ocean’s 11 just to name a few.

        However, I’m more concerned that Hollywood has apparently run out of ideas and can’t seem to come up with a plan other than to rehash old (and not-so-old) movies. How lame.

        • The Thing wasn’t really a remake per se…original script,just based on an old 50s flick…the new film is more on the remanke side than a reboot.

          • “The Thing wasn’t really a remake per se…original script,just based on an old 50s flick…”

            That was based on the book that the Kurt Russell version of the film was far more accurate to. Yeah, there’s a term we use for that. And that term is “Remake.”

            “the new film is more on the remanke side than a reboot.”

            You mean the film that just came out last year? That wasn’t a remake at all, because it was a prequel to the events of the 80′s film?

          • On topic, This could be worth looking at. I’ll have to keep an eye out and wait for more information.

    • Agreed.
      I almost enjoy it when they do this so I can plan on deliberately renting it.

  3. This idea reeks.

  4. Hmm, Total Recall, The Crow, Robocop, Bloodsport, Evil Dead, The Warriors, Escape From New York…

    All being rebooted to Hollywood’s 10th Level of Exploitation.

  5. Personally, i loved 28 weeks later. It did have a different feel than the previous film, but I loved it just as much. Especially in terms of sheer scale.

    I don’t have an opinion on Highlander.

  6. It’s ripe for a remake.
    As long as they keep the story consistent with the number of Immortals, ignore the planet Zeist storyline and don’t make unnecessary sequels to needlessly expand the Highlander universe.

  7. i agree,ignore totally the whole planet zeist thing etc…keep the basics,a highlander,an adversary like the kurgan(who like clancy brown,will no doubt steal the show, and a strong character actor,to portray juan sanchez ramirez…im thinking antonio banderaz..daniel craig etc..i really enjoyed the first one,it had everything needed..good cast,not too taxing storyline,connery, great one liners “slow and crude clansman,your attack was no better than that of a clumsy child..”,and Queen providing the soundtrack…i reserve judgment until im sitting in the multiplex watching it…no american actors though….no tweenys…

  8. 28 Weeks Later was fantastic. Maybe not as great as the original, but it held its own very, very well. With that in mind, I think Fresnadillo will do a great job with Highlander.

  9. They didn’t mention the one shot Highlander anime by Madhouse. That was brilliant! I’m not apposed to a remake of this. It was always pretty cult and generally went down in quality he further they stretched it. It does have it’s fans though, I just hope it gives them something new, fresh and exciting to enjoy.

    • If you haven’t seen it here is a link to the anime trailer


      I know many people are turned off by anime, but it is a very noteworthy part of the Highlander franchise. ^-^

  10. I thought there could be only one!!?

  11. There can only be one!… I mean three!… I mean three and a tv series!… I mean three and a tv series with a another tv series spinoff!

    Wait I know…

    There can only be One…Remake!

  12. As a die-hard fan of the original Highlander movie who saw it when it came out in theaters, I have to say I’m a bit excited about this. The caveat would be that there would need to be an AWESOME soundtrack. The score by Queen added a whole new dimension to the movie. Just amazing.

    I made my kids watch the directors-cut less than a month ago, to show them a well-made Sci-fi movie. I’d like to see a bit more special FX during the ‘quickening’. No Duncan Macleod please, and let’s keep it on Earth, not Zeist. (although I think Michael Ironside would be a great addition to the Immortals list!)

    • Even on the tv show the queen soundtrack made it awesome!

  13. Highlander should have been a single film. I love everything about it and it is brilliant

    Oddly enough the director looks like he could be Christopher Lambert’s pudgy little brother doesen’t he??

  14. Substitute “weeks” for “days” and I might have been more interested.

    But I’ll take what I can get.

  15. It would be nice if we could have a Scottish character played by an actual Scotsman for a change (not Gerard Butler) Possibly Kevin McKidd or David O’ Hara. I’d prefer O’Hara though.

    • David o’Hara is Irish, but a Scots actor would be good, James macavoy for me

      • Or Dougray Scott who was the original choice for Wolverine before he pulled out (I bet he’s kicking himself now!).

      • While O’Hara is an Irish name and he played an Irishman in Braveheart, he is in fact Scottish.

  16. Thomas Jane should be McLeod

    • Yes he should be and please dont remake the warriors. Warriors come out and play. And the sequal was ok once they took out the planet zeist.

  17. I’m behind a (really good) remake of Highlander. Only this time, let there really be “only one”. Who to play Connor? Someone mentioned Dougray Scott, I think thats a good choice.

  18. Another choice just came to mind, how about Viggo Mortenson? (Aragorn)

  19. The first Highlander movie was pretty good, and was different from anything we had seen at that time. It does not need to be remade, though….and Christopher Lambert has too fat of a forehead!

  20. Gaw, who wants to live forever indeed. The Crow, Dirty Dancing, Highlander…Somebody shoot me.

  21. I saw the original movie, and I likewise enjoyed the live action TV-series. If the movie is going to be re-made, I would agree that a good soundtrack should be added to it since the soundtrack made by Queen was half of the reason why the original was worth the watch.

    It gave the movie a unique feel and when you’ve finished watching the movie and try to recall what you saw, you could hardly separate the clanging of the swords from the blaring of the electric guitars and synthesizers (not to mention the distinct shrill of Freddy Mercury’s voice) in the background. It was a great mix!

    Yeah, there could be only one…but there could be “another one”…a remake that is…hehe. Just hope it would be good.

    • The scene where Heather is dying of old age just wouldn’t have been the same without Queen singing “Who want’s to live forever?!”, and who can forget ‘…a man’s decapitated body, lying on the floor next to his own severed head…a head which at this time has no name…” “I know his name!” (Gimme the Prize playing in the tape deck)

      Also, the amazing film work during the past and present scene transitions was awesome!

      I’d like to see what a good director and FX company could do with 25 years of new technology. Not sure who could replace Queen though, or if they’d even want to.

  22. If they can keep Planet Zeist out of it, it might just be fine, but seriously, I just don’t think they need to do a remake. Pleeease! Stop this! Why is it so hard to come up with something original?

  23. Like Matrix, Highlander is one movie, the sequels are not worthy (the Matrix-sequels are somehow a little bit entertaining though, because of the action/special effects).

    I don’t like the idea of a Remake.
    Lambert, Connery, Brown and Queen can’t be replaced.
    I don’t know who comes even near Lambert, Connery and Brown.

    Notably Clancy Brown as the evil Kurgan was iconic. He is one of the most iconic bad-guys of cinema-history, IMO. The Kurgan is, alongside Darth Vader, the coolest villain of my childhood. I will never forget the safety pins in his neck-scar, which stems from near being decapitated by Connery. It was so funny, he had a realy nasty, black, sinister sense of humor in the movie.

    One thought, though, is to cover the original Queen-songs frome some cool actual hard-rock bands, but it will never be the same.

    The scene-transitions and camera-work was awesome, especially without computer-effects in 1986.
    This movie is a total work of art (theme, actors, camera-work and music).

    • No queen cover band. Queen or nothing. I thought the reason the last two sequels were crappy was because they were crappy. Points and sources? REALLY.

  24. I have rethunk my position on this. I still like it, but with Viggo as Kurgan. Chris Hemsworth as Connor, and Denis Leary as Ramirez. This would really be testing Denis’ acting ability, I think. Can’t come up with anybody else as Ramirez.

  25. Perhaps Ian Gruffud, or Matthew McConaghey?

  26. antonio banderas as Ramirez..

  27. Michael Fassbender as MacLeod; Liam Neeson as Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez; Jason Mamoa as the Kurgan(have the Kurgan be a Mongolian); Scarlett Johansson as Brenda Wyatt; and Alice Eve as Heather MacLeod

    • I always wanted to see Thomas Jane play Highlander…he has aged though. But he woulda been great. Michael fassbender is a damn good choice also.

  28. No one is better for Connor than VIGGO MORTENSEN. Viggo has leadership, swordskills and a kind of magic. He proves to be good in lone and reflexive character, with some kind of arrogance. Perfect for Connor.

    Hope for the best. Highlander fan, please spread this mensage.