John Wick director Chad Stahelski prepares for his next big franchise, and he hopes it will be the long-planned Highlander remake.
Stahelski’s attachment to the Highlander reboot dates back to four years ago. While most directors don’t stick around for a project in development for so long, Stahelski said that this movie still active, and he hopes to start working on it next.
“Highlander is very, very near and dear to what I want to do next,” the director said. “I’m really curious about what I can do with [the movie] and how I reinvent the hero worship stuff. Those fascinate me a lot.”
Planning the trilogy
Between working on the first and second John Wick movie, Stahelski agreed to board the Highlander remake in 2016. Lionsgate has been planning the reboot since 2008; the project has had a lot of revisions and changes.
But when it landed on Stahelski’s lap, he knew what he wanted from it right away. The director plans to develop a trilogy of this Scottish tale, in the vein of the Star Wars franchise.
“I see the gathering happening over three. It’s tricky don’t get me wrong, that’s why we’re still developing it,” Stalhelski said via Discussing Film. “We want to be able to tell three complete stories that all kind of fit. I think the Star Wars trilogy, at least up to The Empire Strikes Back, is a good example of how we want to process it.”
Stahelski also said that he feels fortunate to have studio backing from Lionsgate since the film is part of a massive property. So, he’s careful about planning the trilogy because he knows that it will sustain more stories and spinoffs if done right.
The director said he has a wish list of stars for the trilogy, but he’s not sharing casting details just yet.
What is Highlander about?
Highlander is based on the 1986 movie from director Russell Mulcahy about immortal warriors from Scotland. These immortals may only die if their heads are decapitated.
The film starred Christopher Lambert as Connor MacLeod, who trained under an expert swordsman, Ramirez (Sean Connery). MacLeod lived on for centuries, eventually setting in modern-day New York, where he faced off with his nemesis Kurgan (Clancy Brown).
The movie became a Canadian TV series that starred Adrian Paul as Duncan MacLeod, from the same clan as Connor. Highlander, the TV show, ran for six seasons with 119 episodes from 1992 to 1998 and reached international success.
Image used courtesy of StudiocanalUK/YouTube