There can be only one and it’ not Ryan Reynolds. According to The Wrap, the ‘Green Lantern’ actor has exited the ‘Highlander’ reboot leaving producers, Neal Moritz and Peter Davis, to once again start from scratch to get their project off the ground.
While no specifics were given regarding Reynolds’ departure, many speculate that it could be because the actor could no longer stay in limbo while the producers looked for a director to replace Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (’28 Weeks Later’) who left the project last year.
In the original mythos, immortals are pitted against each other and fight with swords to the death. In order to win, they must take their enemy’s head. With the beheading, comes the Quickening where the winner will gain the powers and skills of the one they killed. Reynolds was to play Connor MacLeod (the role that was played by Christopher Lambert in the original film), “an immortal Scottish swordsman forced to confront the Kurgan, a brutal immortal barbarian who lusts for the fabled Prize.”
‘Highlander’ has had its share of setbacks on its path to getting made. Back in 2009, Justin Lin was attached to direct the film but left 2 years later to direct ‘Fast and Furious 6’. Fresnadillo seemed eager to take Lim’s place as helmer and had some distinct ideas as to how he was going to approach the project, but apparently it was not a widely accepted concept as the director left in November 2012 due to creative differences.
The script itself has also gone through some multiple scribes with Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (‘Ironman’, ‘Punisher’) writing the original draft which was then reworked by The Wibberlys (‘National Treaure’, ‘The 6th Day’), Melissa Rosenberg (‘Twilight Saga’ films) and most recently Noah Oppenheim (‘The Maze Runner’).
It may be a blessing in disguise that Reynolds left the project as that means a new director would get to choose who he or she would want in the lead role as opposed to using Fresnadillo’s choices. As adept as Reynolds is with a sword (as seen in his portrayal as Wade Wilson/Deadpool in the film ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’), it was hard to see him in the role of a Scottish immortal.
Luckily, Davis is very familiar with the franchise as he was the producer for not only the first ‘Highlander’ film but also all the subsequent ‘Highlander’ films (try not to hold that against him) as well as the successful TV series starring Adrian Paul. This should give some reassurance that the reboot would be in keeping with the ‘Highlander’ tone.
It’s not known how long it will be before another director is found so keep checking back here at ScienceFiction.com as we’ll be following this story.
In the meantime, who do you think should replace Reynolds in the role of the Highlander?