'John Wick' director confirms 'Highlander' reboot is in 'heavy development'

Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert in Highlander (Credit: Columbia-Cannon-Warner)
Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert in Highlander (Credit: Columbia-Cannon-Warner)

Conor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod is still planning return to screens in a reboot of 80s action classic Highlander, to be helmed by the director of the John Wick movies.

Providing an update on the project, Chad Stahelski explained to Discussing Film that it is 'in heavy development mode'.

“Tweaking the scripts, writing, conceptualizing sequences, how we’re going to do everything,” he said.

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“We probably have a lot more in-person kind of things, but it hasn’t slowed down our development process at all.”

It's not yet known whether the project will be a movie – or series of movies – or a TV show, but with the John Wick franchise, Stahelski has made a name for himself as a capable pair of hands in the action realm, having spent many years as a stunt coordinator.

The original movie was released in 1986 – a high-concept affair helmed by Australian music video icon Russell Mulcahy.

Clancy Brown as The Kurgan in Highlander (Credit: Columbia-Cannon-Warner)
Clancy Brown as The Kurgan in Highlander (Credit: Columbia-Cannon-Warner)

It found Christopher Lambert playing Conor MacLeod, an immortal born in medieval Scotland who is among a group of other immortals tasked with fighting each other to the death.

Learning from mentor Juan Sánchez-Villalobos Ramírez, he learns that the immortals can only be killed by decapitation, and when there are just two left, the winner with be given 'the prize' of mortality.

Lambert’s MacLeod is finally pitted against Clancy Brown’s The Kurgan in a bloody battle to the death.

Though it became a cult classic on video, it bombed at the box office, having cost $19 million but making just $12.9 million back, despite a high-profile soundtrack by Queen.

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Despite this, a host of sequels followed – Highlander II: The Quickening in 1991, with Lambert and Connery returning, and Highlander III: The Sorcerer in 1994 (this time just with Lambert).

A TV series also emerged, with Adrian Paul playing MacLeod clansman Duncan MacCleod, in 1993, running for six series until 1998.

Then another movie, Highlander: Endgame, with Lambert appearing alongside Paul, landed in 2000, and then Highlander: The Source in 2007.

There was even an animated series, which ran for two years from 1994.

A remake of the original movie has been on the table since at least 2008, with the likes of Fast & Furious director Justin Lin and Dave Bautista having been linked to the project in the past.