Chad Stahelski Elaborates On Highlander, And How He Will 'Upgrade' It For A New Generation

 Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery in Highlander.
Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery in Highlander.

With the recent news that the long-in-development Highlander reboot has taken a significant step forward, fans of the franchise are likely getting more than a little excited, or at the very least more than a little curious, about just what to expect from the new movie following the adventures of immortal humans who chop each other’s heads off. Chad Stahelski, who is set to direct the new film, is also a big Highlander fan, though he admits the series needs a bit of an upgrade.

CinemaBlend’s own Phillip Sledge recently had a chance to talk with Chad Stahelski, and he asked what the director’s plans were for the movie, which is set to star Henry Cavill as the immortal hero. Stahelski is clearly excited to see the movie progress forward, and he’s a self-professed fan of the original, but he sees the opportunity to do something more with a reboot. He explained…

Highlander is one of my top projects, I'd love to get going as soon as possible would be fantastic. The original Highlander is still magic to me. I still watch it. It's one of the best of the worst. It's got these wacky things going on, but, I really, really enjoy it. So you wanna keep the fun of the franchise, but at the same time, you know, it, it needs a little upgrade. And when I say upgrade, I mean that with the greatest respect.

There’s little argument that the original Highlander franchise saw diminishing returns as it went on. While the first movie was enough of a success that it spawned sequels, that first movie also didn’t lend itself to more material, which made it difficult when multiple attempts were made to crowbar in more characters and plot after the fact. This resulted in Highlander 2, one of the worst sequels ever made.

Indications are that a new Highlander trilogy of movies might essentially cover the same plot and timeframe of the entire original movie, showing Henry Cavill’s character grow and change over centuries, allowing each movie to dive deeper into the world of Immortals. We never see Christopher Lamber’s Connor McLoud have any serious relationships with other Immortal characters beyond his mentor, but it sounds like the reboot will deal with a lot more of that. Stahelski continued…

But now imagine this, the only people that you can really relate to or have any meaningful kind of relationship are the only people you can't trust. 'cause they all wanna chop off your head. 'cause there can be only, one. Like that's an interesting theme.

Another way the new Highlander may be looking to change things up is by including more non-Immortal characters as antagonists in the film. In the original franchise, most humans didn’t know Immortals existed, and those who did were sympathetic to them. But in the reboot, we may see that Immortals have to deal with mortal threats, as well as those from their own kind. The director said…

The war between Immortals and Immortals, and mortals and Immortals. Some of the Immortals think that mankind is meant to be ruled. Some Immortals think mankind is meant to be served, so, you know, who's gonna win? 'Cause there can only be one. Come on. What a great tagline.

It is a great tagline and a potentially great world for a movie franchise to build on. It looks like the new Highlander will try and tell a story that fans will love, while also making the world the Immortals live in far more compelling. Now we just need to wait for its arrival.