While Highlander is arguably a franchise of diminishing returns, at least on the film side of things (let’s not even get into what a mess it was putting Highlander II together), it’s still maintained a sizable fanbase since the first movie came out in 1986. But now the opportunity has come along for a completely fresh start, with Henry Cavill being tapped to lead a Highlander reboot. While I am looking to this new take on the property, word’s come in that we’ll be waiting a long time for its release.
During a financial call (via IGN), Joe Drake, the chairman of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, stated that Highlander is set to be one of the studio’s “tentpole” releases in 2026. He also mentioned that with the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike now over, filming is expected to begin soon, although he didn’t provide a specific timetable. With 2024 on the horizon, presumably the 2026 theatrical schedule will start to become a clearer picture, but at least now we know that Highlander will arrive at some point during that year, as will the upcoming Marvel movie Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, which is slated for May 1, 2026.
What is curious, though, is why there’s such a long wait ahead of us. Granted, moviemaking is a complicated process and you never want to rush through it, but if filming is expected to start in the next few months, or even sometime in mid-2024, then why is 2026 the target period for Highlander? Even allowing enough time for a reasonable principal photography period and for the VFX to be properly realized during the postproduction process, I feel like this movie could easily be ready to go by 2025.
But hey, good things come to those who wait, and if Lionsgate has a good reason for waiting until 2026 to deliver Highlander, then so long as that final product is the best it can be, then I can make peace with it not coming for another three years. A Highlander reboot has been in development in one form or another since the late 2000s, but the project in its current form started to make progress when John Wick’s Chad Stahelski was tapped to direct in 2016. By 2021, Henry Cavill confirmed he’d scored the lead role, and this past October, Lionsgate announced that he’d play a new version of Connor MacLeod, the Immortal protagonist who was previously played by Christopher Lambert.
While no specific plot details have been divulged concerning the screenplay being written by Mike Finch, Chad Stahelski did recently tell CinemaBlend that the Highlander reboot is one of his “top projects,” as well as acknowledged the property needs “a little upgrade.” He also revealed in a separate interview that the reboot will utilize the Queen soundtrack from the original movie in a “different,” but “hardcore” way.
Once Highlander is officially scheduled by Lionsgate, we’ll let you know. Until then, the original Highlander can be streamed with a Peacock subscription, and Henry Cavill’s next movie, Argylle, will theatrically premiere February 2 on the 2024 movies schedule, and then be released to Apple TV+ subscribers at a later date.