Director Chad Stahelski says his Highlander reboot starring Henry Cavill will be “a bit of a prequel” to the original story
Seven years have gone by since John Wick franchise director Chad Stahelski signed on to direct a reboot of the 1986 classic Highlander (watch it HERE). Two years have passed since Henry Cavill of Man of Steel and The Witcher signed on to star in the film. Yet we still don’t know exactly when the new Highlander is going to go into production. But, thanks to a new interview with Stahelski on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, we do know that the movie isn’t going to be an exact retelling of the story we saw in the original film. Instead, it’s going to be “a bit of a prequel” to that story.
While Highlander was an excellent standalone film, the problem came when it was successful enough to spawn a franchise – and the ending of the movie really left nowhere for a sequel to go because it left the lead character as “the sole survivor of a group of dueling immortals following their climactic Gathering.” Stahelski is going to be fixing that issue with his take on the concept. On the Happy Sad Confused podcast, he said (with thanks to The Hollywood Reporter for the transcription), “The trick is when you have the tagline ‘there can only be one,’ you can’t just kill everybody the first time. … Our story engages a lot of the same characters (from the film), but we’ve also brought in elements of all the TV shows. We’re trying to do a bit of a prequel — a setup to The Gathering — so we have room to grow the property.“
And Stahelski and his collaborators see plenty of opportunities to rebuild the Highlander franchise from the ground up. “We have ideas for days for the coolest characters [that could make for] an epic TV show. I just think that’s rich mythology when you can pick any period of time, any nationality, any culture, any type of person and make them an immortal that have to duel and deal with the burden of immortality — that’s f*cking cool.“
The director previously told The Hollywood Reporter that he cast Cavill as the lead because “Henry obviously has the physicality, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot if you can’t also carry the empathy of a character that’s lived 500 years, and I needed somebody who could do both. The character’s arc spans hundreds of years and he becomes many different personalities, all of which extend the timeline of his emotional growth. Then during our first meeting, my suspicions were confirmed: Henry was immediately riffing on the idea of the burden of immortality and you could see in his eyes that he can transform himself from being a young, vibrant soul to an old, wise soul. He had this combination I was fascinated by. The other thing you could see was his genuineness – he really loves the property and loves what he believes he can do with it, and when an actor has that level of passion, you’re going to get something unique. And finally – you’ve met him, you know – after 10 minutes you’re just like: ‘He’s cool, I want to hang out with this guy.’“
I’m totally on board to see what Stahelski and Cavill do with Highlander and completely agree with the plan to build up to The Gathering rather than feature it in their first movie… I just wish they’d get around to making the movie already.
Are you interested in Stahelski and Cavill’s Highlander? What do you think of it being “a bit of prequel”, building up to The Gathering? Let us know by leaving a comment below.