Connor MacLeod may or may not be an immortal alien, but his sword skills have at least one thing common with the Jedi from Star Wars. Director Chad Stahelski has said his reboot of Highlander will take cues from both the original Star Wars trilogy and his own John Wick films.
“The vision we’re trying to get across and what we’re trying to develop, I equate very close to Star Wars,” the director told Collider, saying he hopes his Highlander reboot would show the “gathering” of the various sword-swinging immortals “happening over three” films. At present, Stahelski’s vision of the Highlander fantasy epic rebooting in a trilogy of motion pictures is in the developmental phase with Summit and Lionsgate. Filming and casting haven’t been announced, but Stahelski has an overwhelmingly detailed idea for how he’d like to see the original concept revitalized for new audiences. And apparently, the studios are in support of him. “So far I’ve met no resistance,” he said. “They’re like, ‘Look, whatever you did with John Wick with the gun stuff, we want you to try and do with the sword stuff.”
The original Highlander was released in 1986 and starred Christopher Lambert as a Scottish man who finds out he is an immortal being in the 16th century, but he lives to battle other immortals in 1985, New York City. Though their magical presence is hidden from the majority of the world, the mythology of the “Immortals” underwent a ton of expansion. There were several sequels to the original film, and three television series, one of which was animated and took place in the far-future.
At one point in the Highlander mythos — Highlander 2: The Quickening — Lambert’s Connor MacLeod and Sean Connery’s Ramirez were revealed not only to be immortal sword wielders, but aliens, too. Every released sequel to Highlander attempted to retcon or ignore this detail. But the TV show — and some movie sequels — also attempted to retcon the ending of the original film, too. Imagine a series of Star Wars films which pretends like everything in the original Star Wars happened except for the part where Luke destroys the Death Star. That’s what Highlander continuity is like.
Famously, the rock band Queen supplied a good portion of the original film’s soundtrack, and the title song “Princes of the Universe,” was written by Freddie Mercury specifically for the film. This is another detail Stahelski claims he wants to be a part of his reboot. “I can’t see Highlander without Queen, without the Queen center,” he said, “without having Freddy Mercury, Prince of the Universe, and all this stuff. I can’t picture the movie in my head without it.”
The new Highlander reboot does not have a release date.