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SYFY WIRE Highlander

Highlander reboot director says he's trying not to 'f*** it up'; TV show could be in the works

By Josh Weiss
Sean Connery Highlander II: The Quickening

There can be only one! That may be true for the Highlander, but not for the franchise it spawned back in 1986. On that front, John Wick director Chad Stahelski is leading the charge to bring the age-old battle between undying warriors back to audiences. Speaking with Collider, the filmmaker offered an update on the Highlander reboot he's been tapped to direct.

"We’re trying to get it done. Anyone who knows anything about the property knows it has a lot of meat to it,” he said. "It’s a good property. It’s got a lot of potential. We’re just trying to figure out the best way not to f*** it up."

The original movie, directed by Russell Mulcahy, featured the likes of Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, Christopher Lambert, and Roxanne Hart but still failed at the box office. Even so, it found new life as a cult favorite and spawned a bizarre sequel also helmed by Mulcahy, The Quickening, in 1991.

A year later, a TV show based on the movies kicked off and ran for six seasons and almost 120 episodes between 1992 and 1998. A spinoff, The Raven, lasted only a single season between 1998 and 1999. While the shows were airing and even after they ended, more films were released, the first one in 1994 and the last one in 2007.

Another long-form television series might end up being the best way to go, according to Stahelski, who added:

“We’re trying to design in a way that gives us a little more lead-in, a little more time with the mythology and see some of the best characters. They did seven seasons of TV, and even though the TV show may not hold up today, the idea of it and the characters they brought in were super cool. So we’re trying to devise a methodology that leads up to The Quickening. You just don’t end with a one-on-one battle in New York, cut off a guy’s head, and that’s it. We want to do this in such a way that it becomes more of a series, whether it’s short form or long form, that would let us explore that in the best way. I have a huge, heartfelt love and respect for the project, so we’re trying to find the best way to do it to give fans what they want.”

As of last March, Ryan Condal (Colony, Dwayne Johnson's Hercules) was handling the reboot's script. But at this point, it sounds like that one-off movie could be something more "long form" if they can work out the kinks.