Henry Cavill to Star in Highlander Reboot and We’re Not Mad About It
Toss a coin to your Highlander.
Fans of Henry Cavill sword-fighting in a wig rejoice! The erstwhile Geralt of Rivia and former Superman is in talks to join the reboot of Highlander, the cult classic fantasy franchise about immortal warriors battling one another for ultimate power. The reboot will be directed by veteran stunt performer Chad Stahelski, who directed the John Wick films. A fantasy epic with the square-jawed Cavill and the man behind the best action franchise of the decade? Shut up and take ALL my money.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Highlander saga, congratulations on being young. The original Highlander was a 1986 fantasy action film that starred Christopher Lambert as Connor MacLeod, a 16th century Scottish warrior who discovers he possesses immortality, and can only be killed by beheading. MacLeod is taken under the wing of Spanish swordsman Juan Sánchez-Villalobos Ramírez (Sean Connery, not even attempting a Spanish accent), who explains that he is one of an elite group of immortals empowered by an energy called the Quickening, and destined to battle one another for domination, hence the film’s catchphrase “there can be only one.”
If this sounds stupid, well … it is. And while the cheesy, bombastic movie underperformed both critically and commercially, it garnered a devoted fanbase that lead to four sequels, three television series, an animated movie, comics, video games and more. The last film, Highlander: The Source was made for television in 2007, and since then Hollywood has been trying to reboot the franchise.
This planned reboot has attracted a bevy of A-listers including Fast & Furious director Justin Lin, Ryan Reynolds, Tom Cruise, and Dave Bautista. But the combination of Stahelski and Cavill is the most promising pairing yet. It’s unclear whether Cavill would play MacLeod or an original character, and no other casting announcements have been made.
I’m all in on this enterprise, as it’s been way too long since we’ve had a good old fashioned swashbuckling action adventure film. The last Pirates of the Caribbean film, 2017’s Dead Men Tell No Tales, was an incoherent mess a film. And the entire franchise is now tainted thanks to scandal-plagued actor Johnny Depp.
And that’s not to mention other recent fantasy action adventures, which have been stymied by bad VFX, wooden acting, and deadly serious scripts. Zack Snyder’s 300 launched a parade of aggressively dour and desaturated male-driven fantasy epics, from the Clash of the Titans reboot to Immortals (also starring Cavill) to Snow White and the Huntsman to the brutally boring King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
If the team behind this Highlander reboot is smart, they’ll infuse the film with solid action sequences and a unique take on the cult classic. A fantasy epic that is actually (gasp!) fun would be a welcome reprieve from the grey humorless slogs of the past decade. Also, give us some more women Highlanders please and thank you.
What do you think of the Highlander reboot?
(via Deadline, image: Netflix)
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