After seemingly landing a pair of key roles in potential franchises as Wade Wilson/Deadpool for Twentieth Century Fox's X-Men series and as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern for the "next big thing" for DC Entertainment and Warner Bros., star Ryan Reynolds seemingly has his comic book roles on the back burner.
The star of this year's Safe House and next year's R.I.P.D. has also landed what may be another long-term franchise role as the next Highlander, to be directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later).
We first heard of the possibility of Reynolds becoming the next member of the Clan MacLeod back in March when the Canadian actor emerged the front-runner for the coveted role. The "confirmation" comes from The Tracking Board who claim that negotiations are complete and that Reynolds has officially secured the gig.
Christopher Lambert famously starred in the original cult hit Highlander and its two sequels, before passing the torch to TV star Adrian Paul for the six-season Highlander TV series following the character of Duncan MacLeod and its unsuccessful spin-off Highlander: The Raven with Amanda Darieux. Lambert and Paul joined forces, officially merging the continuities of their characters and stories for Highlander: Endgame, before the franchise sizzled away after Paul and his TV co-stars returned for one last go with Highlander: The Source.
With the Lionsgate-Summit Entertainment merger promising a larger focus on franchising key brands, producers Neal Moritz - who's working with Reynolds on R.I.P.D. and did so with The Change-Up and Peter Davis - the man behind all of the Highlander projects, aim to make Highlander and its story about sword-wielding immortals a mainstream hit with Reynolds as their leading man.
For fans of Reynolds' other work, we wonder what this means for any potential of him suiting up soon for that other buzzed about project with a hard-to-kill sword-swinging protagonist: Deadpool. And more importantly, are we going to see Reynolds sport long locks like his predecessor? Is he going to rock a fake Scottish accent in flashbacks as part of the Clan MacLeod?
We can at least say Highlander has a director and leading man who can both deliver action. The question is if they can deliver a story and a character we're willing to care about for years to come.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
Source: The Tracking Board