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This Is Definitely Happening: Ryan Reynolds Will Star In the Highlander Reboot

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.

(via Blastr)

Previously in Highlander

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  • Anonymous

    Just for the record Adrian Paul played Duncan MacLeod in the TV series, a descendant of Conor MacLeod played by Christopher Lambert.

  • Mika “Ipstenu” Epstein

    Though they were both immortal scotsmen of the clan MacLeod.

    Highlander. The gay blade.

  • Emerald

    Talk about killing my childhood. Can we stop rebooting things?

  • Emerald

    Thank you! I actually had to read that sentence a few times. 

  • Andres Villaseca

    If Reynolds is going to be MacLeod , Sean Bean should get the Ramirez part…

  • Jenn

    As long as they don’t reboot Methos, it’s cool. (Unless they could somehow make him less cheesy, which I would pay to see even if I hated it.)

  • Jeff Demos

    If anything good can come of this, it could be that Highlander will become relevant in pop culture again.  I can run around with a sword and a trench coat again and not get strange looks…….

  • Anna B

    “Because Ryan Reynolds has a knack for being weird on purpose while
    Christopher Lambert was doing it by accident that whole time! Brilliant.”


    I’d like to see Reynolds try, though I do think this is going to be a fail. You’re right. I’d rather see him be Deadpool. He was Deadpool in Blade, anyway.

    Oh, I forget… he was already Deadpool, Deadpool.

  • electrasteph

     I was just scrolling down to the comments to say the same thing. Why must we constantly reboot everything? I’m suffering serious burnout from the DC New 52 reboot, especially since they just rebooted Wonder Woman and Power Girl over the last couple years already.

    Can we just tell a story and then, tell the next story, instead of telling the same story over and over again? It’s like no one could think of a good story to continue stuff, so they just repeat the same one over again.

  • Anonymous

    Ugh.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Ryan Reynolds and I think he’d be great if they ever did Deadpool properly, but nothing about him says “Immortal Scotsman” to me.  At all.   

  • Anonymous

    I also swear the time between remakes is getting shorter and shorter.  I half-expect to see a remake of the rebooted BSG soon.

  • Lisa Morgan

    thank you! I was about to post similar about Connor and Duncan ;)

    That said…I’ll see it. I am one of those strange people that loved the various Highlanders, and I love Ryan Reynolds (crappy movies and all). 

  • Lee Jay Stura

    I’m all for it. I miss Highlander. I was just re-watching season one on Netflix last night. I forgot how BAD most of that is. Conor was a great character, and so was Duncan. But what really made the original movie great was Ramirez. We will not speak of the sequel movies that all sucked. 

  • Anonymous

    Do they plan on resurrecting Freddie Mercury to do a new soundtrack?

    Sorry, but I suspect this may end up like the Conan the Barbarian reboot … unless it has a French-Canadian guy playing a Scotsman and a Scotsman playing a Spaniard in the two main protagonist roles, it’ll loose it’s appeal in my mind … I LOVED Reynolds in Blade Trinity, FWIW

  • Chatty Chatter

     Billy Connolly needs to play Ramirez ^_^

  • Anonymous


  • Sean Samonas

    My only response to casting Ryan Reynolds as the Highlander is this:

    It is too bad the world doesn’t have any actual Scottish actors to play a…you know…Highlander.

  • Brad

    Blade trinity was terrible.  Everyone knows it.

  • Beth Dufraine

    BulletB is correct. Christopher Lambert played “Connor,” while Adrian Paul played “Duncan.”  Duncan is Connor MacLeod’s clansman and pupil. 

  • Anonymous

    I never said it wasn’t

  • Anonymous

    Ryan Britt says a lot, but talks about nothing. The fact that a good movie spawns terrible sequels doesn’t make the whole franchise bad or lessen the world. We see it all the time, and it is only because of the cult following for Highlander that it is even brought up. We don’t knock down Speed, Home Alone, Dirty Dancing, or any other movie that had crummy sequels. It is the films with a well known following that get flack, look at Matrix and its sequels. I know it is a bit of fun and in a joking tone, but his bit is also insulting.

    Ryan Reynolds is, as you said, a good actor. I enjoy his work, but mostly when it is not a big project. It seems in all of his big rolls he falls into the same character that we all expect. I don’t enjoy that character (what you call “weird”, I call boring and obvious acting) and I think he is capable of more.

    My only hope is that they put some hair on this guy and he works on his accent, assuming the remake will be close to the original. He is far too pretty.

  • Anonymous

    Well let’s see, there was 5 years between Spider-Man 3 and the reboot. Since BSG ended in 2009 that puts us on track for 2013. Although I wouldn’t mind someone rebooting the crap Michael Bay made out of Transformers in the near future.

  • Anonymous

    It really isn’t. Back in the 1940s they made remakes less than a decade after the original film. If anything, the turnaround with remakes is getting longer than since then.

  • Taste_is_Sweet

    Much as I honestly love Ryan Reynolds, I have to say I both lol’ed and agree. Maybe all the actual UK actors are doing “Game of Thrones”?

  • Taste_is_Sweet

    Let me be the dissenting voice and say I am really looking forward to this. I loved RR as Deadpool and… as the guy who’s name I can’t remember from Blade: Trinity. I’d hate to see him with a ponytail, but I’m sure he can manage the accent. And as I’ve mentioned before, anything that has a Canadian in it is happymaking as far as I’m concerned. :)

  • Kev Weldon

    It would indeed be nice to see an end to Bay’s crappy version of Transformers and a return to the spirit of the original, garbagey version.

  • Fraser McFarlane

    They could have cast Gerard Butler.  He’s a big, burly dude who’s proved he can handle swinging a sword about and doing fight scenes (300), plus he actually Scottish.  As a Scotsman, the thought of Ryan Reynolds attempting the accent has me cringing already.

  • Margaret Howie

    And even before that, Hollywood remade successful silents as talkies within a few years of each other

  • Lettice Peyton

    It was. It was absolutely awful, but Reynolds as Hannibal King was awesome.

  • Lettice Peyton

    But casting a Scotsman to play the role would completely break tradition! After all. Reynold’s current accent is a better Scots accent than Lambert’s was.

  • Shaun Dove

    for the love of god! will you just make the deadpool movie already.i have been waiting years for it

  • Bradley Bliss

    no i think it would be cool for christopher lambert to do a cameo appearance as Ramirez 

  • Anonymous

    Ryan Reynolds is Canadian, so we’re part way there!

  • Taste_is_Sweet

    But he’s part of the Commonwealth! That’s got to count for something, right? :)

  • Debbi Michele Filori

    I would take the original movie to a desrt island as one of the twenty movies I could have because although Mr Lamberts accent was dreadful it comes so close to awesomeness in every other way. Queen for the music. Sean Connery. That there so right. Anyways in trying to even wrap my mind around this movie is just wrong. If ryan the putz reynolds does the movie I will never watch it. Now if they are determined to do this spend the money on a decent script and director and frickin get Ewan McGregor for Connor. That’s it.