“John Wick” franchise director Chad Stahelski revealed in 2016 he was involved in the reboot of the “Highlander” action-fantasy franchise. However his recent commitments, including directing “John Wick: Chapter 3” opening in May, have prevented him from doing much.
Talking with Collider this week shortly after the release of the new trailer for that third ‘Wick’, Stahelski insists he still wants to adapt the property but it’s not clear how far his ambitions for it go as they could well move beyond a mere film reboot:
“Highlander is an interesting property. It’s through Lionsgate as well and Neal Moritz. We’re trying to get it done. Anyone who knows anything about the property knows it has a lot of meat to it. 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–k it up.
Not to try and fit it into a 1 hour, 45 minute movie, which, when your pitch is, ‘There can be only one,’ and in your first movie you kill everybody but the one, sequels have a problem of happening. So 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.”
He also has no problem with the idea of doing the property in the streaming or premium cable realm if it’s the right fit, and suggests the project is well into development.
“We’re well past the script phase in terms of what we want to accomplish with a feature-length version of what we want and based on there being more after that. We want to tell the complete story of The Quickening, the Immortals, and all that. But the overall environment is changing so much. Look what Netflix is doing with TV now.
As an action designer myself, there are two or three episodes of Game of Thrones that blow away 90% of features. Netflix has a whole new delivery system with features on that coming off differently and letting filmmakers and directors expand out without being crushed by opening weekend box office. So there’s a couple different mediums we want to explore and what is the best way to bring this out in.”
Russell Mulcahy’s “Highlander” released in 1986 starred Christopher Lambert as an immortal Scottish warrior who can only be killed by decapitation and Sean Connery as his mentor. Numerous sequels and TV series followed.