Highlander remake to shoot next year, promises a more ‘grounded’ take

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Director Chad Stahelski has been chatting about his planned remake of the 1986 cult classic Highlander, and all sounds pretty intriguing.

We’ve known for a long while that a remake of the 1980s favourite Highlander has been heading our way. It’s been a pretty tortuous journey though, with long periods of no movement to the point where it seemed we’d never actually get to see another film about a bunch of sword-wielding immortals battling through the ages to claim their destiny.

However, back in the summer it was announced that Chad Stahelski – director of the John Wick films – would be helming the remake, with Henry Cavill set to star. The addition of both Stahelski, a renowned action director and now Cavill, who is more than a bit nifty with a sword in Netflix’s The Witcher series, bodes well for an action-focused reimagining of the film. Despite that, the remake is being described as ‘a more grounded-in-reality take’ when compared to the original films, and also the movie ‘will likely play a bit more like a modern tragedy.’

The core premise of Highlander, immortals duelling with swords for ultimate supremacy throughout history, is a perfect example of 1980s high concept ingenuity. But as beloved as it is, it’s  a film of its era and has aged accordingly, especially the quality of some of the duels themselves.

Stahelski, who has just this week finished shooting John Wick 4, has been chatting about casting Cavill for the Highlander remake, stating that “Henry obviously has the physicality, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot if you can’t also carry the empathy of a character that’s lived 500 years, and I needed somebody who could do both. The character’s arc spans hundreds of years and he becomes many different personalities, all of which extend the timeline of his emotional growth.”

Stahelski went on to also praise Cavill’s range as an actor, stating that during their first meet, “Henry was immediately riffing on the idea of the burden of immortality and you could see in his eyes that he can transform himself from being a young, vibrant soul to an old, wise soul. He had this combination I was fascinated by”.

We’re very much looking forward to further announcements for this one, especially casting for the villain and mentor roles, even if the characters aren’t Clancy Brown’s Kurgan and Sean Connery’s Ramirez. Whatever happens, we’ll bring you more updates as we hear them.

The Hollywood Reporter

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