A little over a year ago, news broke that The Witcher and Superman star Henry Cavill was in talks to potentially lead a new Highlander movie. The news made perfect sense, considering the British actor has all the hallmarks of an action star, with films like The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Mission: Impossible – Fallout under his belt, paired with The Witcher, which brings that touch of epic fantasy that’s inherently built into the Highlander lore. While everything Highlander-related is still very much in the early development zone, Collider‘s Steve Weintraub recently chatted with the one man who is confirmed to be attached to the project: Chad Stahelski. While discussing fellow stuntman J.J. Perry‘s directorial debut Day Shift, which Stahelski also produced, the John Wick director spoke a little about where they are in the pre-production process with the Highlander film.
The first Highlander film premiered in 1986, with Christopher Lambert starring as the 16th-century immortal Connor MacLeod. The crux of the entire film is a millennia-long struggle between immortal warriors who fight to the death to absorb each other’s powers so that there can be “only one.” While there can be only one Highlander, there certainly wasn’t only one Highlander film in the franchise. Following its success, Highlander II and Highlander III arrived in the 1990s, before Highlander: Endgame premiered at the turn of the new millennia. The fourth film featured Adrian Paul as Duncan MacLeod, who was the protagonist of the six-season show Highlander: The Series, which also spawned a number of short-lived spin-off series in the 1990s.
While Stahleski has a number of projects on the table, including his work with the John Wick franchise, an adaptation of Ghost of Tsushima, and a Warner Bros. project entitled Shibumi, it sounds like progress is being made to get Lionsgate‘s Highlander film headed towards more solid ground. As Stahleski put it:
We’re in the process of tweaking right now. I think we know what we want. More importantly than anything, we know what we want to make. It’s in the creatives. We know what we’re trying to make. It’s just a matter of getting it to the point where we feel, “Okay, this is it. Let’s go.” But we’re closer than we’ve ever been, so that’s good.
But the biggest question is, “Is Henry Cavill still attached to star in the film?” While the fate of his work as Superman might be up in the air as Warner Bros. goes through growing pains following Discovery‘s acquisition of the studio, Cavill is an in-demand actor and currently on-location swinging the blade and slaying monsters in The Witcher. Stahleski confirmed that he has been discussing the project with Cavill who he described as being “one of my big choices.” He went on to explain, “It’s not just about muscles and brooding. I think he’s got an incredible range and I think he’d bring something very special. And his enthusiasm has been amazing in it.”
While nothing is set in stone, it does sound like things are moving in the right direction for the Highlander film. Stahleski‘s keen eye for directing nerve-wracking action sequences and his handling of the John Wick franchise definitely makes him the right man for the task of bringing Highlander back to the silver screen.