Recent reports indicate that after ten years of development since acquiring the rights to the Highlander film franchise, Lionsgate Films finally has found a satisfactory script for a reboot film. The script was reportedly written by Colony writer Ryan Condal and the studio has already planned to start pre-production on the film later this year.
Released in 1986, the original Highlander is widely regarded as a cult classic work of fantasy, which inspired a spin-off television series and several sequels. The film is famous for its unique mythology, built around a group of immortals who can only die by having their heads severed from their body and their eternal battle for "The Prize". The movie is also fondly remembered for its Queen-produced soundtrack and for its unusual casting, which saw French actor Christopher Lambert cast as the titular Highlander Connor MacLeod and Scottish actor Sean Connery cast as his mentor, Ramirez - an Egyptian who pretends to be Spanish!
Deadline broke the story on the completed script. Lionsgate is so pleased with Condal's script that they have fast-tracked it for production. The film is now expected to receive an official 2019 theatrical release date sometime in the near future.
Lionsgate seem to be taking every effort in making sure that the Highlander reboot is a quality product, seeking out A-list creators on every level to work upon it. In addition to Ryan Condal, director Chad Stahelski (best known for his work on the John Wick films) is set to direct. The film is being produced by Neal H. Moritz, who has handled numerous action-based television series and movies, including Preacher, Prison Break and The Fast & The Furious franchise. Despite this attention being paid to the first reboot film, Lionsgate is already making plans for an extended franchise with at least three films.
While Lionsgate's enthusiasm and faith in Condal's script is encouraging, it still seems like they may be putting the cart before the horse. Even with an A-list creative team backing the project, there's no guarantee that the reboot film will capture the imagination of modern audiences, either by hooking them with the series' mythology or by luring in nostalgic fans of the original film. After all, when it came to the sequels of the original Highlander, there's a reason why many people quipped "There should be only one!" Still, if there's anyone who can take the base concept and work it into a satisfying three-film story arc, it's arguably Condal and Stahelski.