Okay, everyone, it’s official: Ryan Reynolds will be taking the lead role of Connor MacLeod in the upcoming reboot of Highlander. The rumor first started circulated last month that the somewhat polarizing Green Lantern star might be up for the role, and it caused some to become, um, passionate. Lots of people have lots of opinions on it, and I am going to write about it. Don’t worry, people, I have watched the movie.
So, ” target=”_blank”>my last attempt at writing about Highlander before I had seen it caused some of you to feel some feelings. I have since watched the movie, live-tweeted it, and enjoyed it. And now I will write about this casting news, assuming that we’re cool now.
Highlander is near and dear to the hearts of many people, despite its hilariously bad sequels. It redeemed itself on the small screen, when the role of the immortal Scotsman originated by the many-accented Christopher Lambert was played by Adrian Paul. But then, talks about a possible return to the big screen started making the rounds, and that can be sensitive territory. Reboots happen — but one thing that can mean the difference between a bad reboot and an acceptable reboot is the star.
Enter Ryan Reynolds. Known mostly for his comedic acting roles (see: Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place and Best Friends) with some critically acclaimed dramatic roles thrown in (see: Buried) and well-received action roles (see: Blade: Trinity; do not see: Green Lantern), Reynolds is a tricky character when it comes to a beloved franchise. Some people like him because he’s funny, oftentimes very funny. He generally has a good reputation. But we are still fresh off of Green Lantern, and he did not win any fans doing that movie, which can probably be accurately called “a stinker.” At the same time, people were calling for an Academy Award nomination for his work in Buried. So, what gives?
Ryan Britt at Tor makes a very interesting case for Reynolds as MacLeod:
… Highlander has always been about being brazenly lame. And if there’s one person who gets how do that it, it’s Ryan Reynolds.
It takes a particular kind of quiet inanity to be a fan of the Highlander universe. Literally every single installment of the franchise, from the films to the television series, to the animated series, to the comic books, to an unrelated animated film, to the spin-off series The Raven all contradict each other’s continuity both subtly and broadly. Sometimes a Highlander thing will contradict continuity while you’re watching it. (Highlander: Endgame.) Better still is when Highlander is so embarrassed of its behavior that it releases new versions of itself omitting the embarrassing things it did (Highlander 2: Renegade Edition). …
While post-Highlander Christopher Lambert seemed to actively choose movies that sucked, Ryan Reynolds simply can’t help it. He just slops into these parts, which is why the Highlander reboot is ideal for him. It’s an honest representation of exactly what he is in the culture: someone who will never die unless somebody does something terrible to him with a sword. But really, no one will want to do that because he seems like such a nice guy. Ryan Reynolds is a holy ground. Sure, we think we could make fun of why he sucks, but we can’t seem to get at him because he’s always ensconced in crappy movies, which he uses as a kind of shield.
Also: Reynolds knows swords.
But seriously, did you even consider this point of view? Ryan Reynolds as Connor MacLeod might be perfect! Because Ryan Reynolds has a knack for being weird on purpose while Christopher Lambert was doing it by accident that whole time! Brilliant.
I urge all of you to form your own opinions on a Highlander reboot starring Ryan Reynolds. Some of you will never accept it. Some of you will say you’ll never accept it, then see the movie anyway. Some of you will bring yourselves to think that Reynolds might be the happy medium between Lambert and Paul, and you’ll become curious enough to open your mind to liking this idea.
All I can say is this: Highlander was awesome. But I’d rather see Reynolds do a Deadpool movie, just like everyone else in the world.
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