I think it’s safe to say that there are few British big screen feature films that have become as globally successful as Highlander.
The tale of the immortal Scottish warrior Connor MacLeod of the clan MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) who defeats his nemesis, the fearsome and bloodthirsty Kurgan (Clancy Brown) with the help of his mentor Ramirez (Sean Connery) and love interest Brenda (Roxanne Hart) has truly become immortal, creating the sort of mythology and chemistry that’s needed for a highly successful film. And I’m sure its soundtrack, containing such hits as “Who Wants to Live Forever” written by Brian May and “Princes of the Universe” written by Freddie Mercury have also contributed to its success. Although critics were not very fond of the movie (its Metacritic score is well into the red), and its revenues upon its release didn’t cover its $19 million budget, it has managed to obtain a cult status, spawning five sequels, two television series starring Adrian Paul and Elizabeth Gracen, three animated series, a number of books and comic books, audio dramas, computer games, even a video slot machine soon to hit UK online casinos. There is even a battle card game based on the story. And now it seems to get a remake.
Speaking to Collider back in January, John Wick helmer Chad Stahelski shared some details about the upcoming movie based on the adventures of the immortals. Stahelski praised the original movie’s mythology and soundtrack and revealed that the reimagining of the story might spawn a movie trilogy. To expand the mythology over several titles, he plans to reach out to the series and to look at the most successful trilogy to date, Star Wars.
“I think the TV series hit on a lot of great stuff wasn’t in the feature, between the watchers and all the different types of immortals,” he told Collider. “How do we get this into a feature mode before we dribble it into the TV world? Well, let’s restructure it in parts, let’s look at it like it was a TV show, let’s look at it like it was a high-end trilogy. How do we tell the story of the gathering the quickenings, the immortals and how do we really build this world out even more so than the original project. That’s what we’re restructuring right now. It’s taking all the good stuff that we had before I was involved in the project from the script; redeveloping the script to give us really good chapters one, two and three; and expanding the world.”
Stahelski also revealed that he plans to follow the course taken by John Wick when it comes to the rating of the new Highlander movie, aiming for an R rating, pursuing vision rather than looking for approval by the MPAA. We’ve seen examples of violent stories dumbed down in the name of viewership – this is how 1997’s “Spawn”, directed by Mark A.Z. Dippé became the bland and forgettable feature film we’ve seen.
But the question still remains: if the Highlander is indeed remade, will you see it?