John Wick trilogy director Chad Stahelski hopes to get his Highlander reboot off the ground.
“I still very much want to go in and do Highlander,” he told EW.
“I’m a huge fan of a property I’m involved in, and working on the script now, called Sandman Slim, which I f—ing really really like. It’s a [fantasy] book series by Richard Kadrey. We’re working on the script right now. So, between those two projects, I feel very fortunate.”
Stahelski, an action and stunt coordinator who served as second unit director on The Hunger Games and Captain America: Civil War, previously told EW in early 2017 he was “very interested” in rebooting the property as it’s “scarily similar to John Wick.”
“There’s a great mythology, it’s got an action-design challenge. What would a guy really be like after 500 years of practicing sword-work? I’m still a stunt guy at heart,” he said.
“You want to reinvent gunfights, how do you do it? You want to reinvent swordfighting, how do you do it? And that’s where we are at now. I love the first Highlander and I think I’m in a pretty good spot. The creative team, the producers and the studio that’s behind it have kind of said, ‘It’s yours to play with.’”
In 2008, it was reported by THR Lionsgate-owned Summit Entertainment — the label behind the John Wick films as well as 2018’s Robin Hood and 2019’s Hellboy reboot — was developing a Highlander redo with Iron Man screenwriters Art Marcum and Matt Holloway.
Peter Davis, who produced the original film and was on board the 2008 planned reboot, said the new take would be more than a remake and would instead add more backstory and prequel elements.
Davis also noted romance was an important part of the Highlander mythology and would have played a central theme in the new version.
“I would hate to think that people viewed Highlander as a sword fighting movie because it’s much more than that,” Davis said.
“The issues of an immortal falling in love with a woman and knowing she’s going to grow old and die in your arms, those are very romantic issues to deal with.”
That iteration of the project, developed under the title Highlander: The Reckoning, languished in development hell.