Chad Stahelski is finally making his long-gestating Highlander movie. The director has been developing the project since 2016, and now has set it as his next film.
Henry Cavill is attached to star in Highlander, a reimagining of the 1986 film of the same name that starred Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery and Clancy Brown as immortals who must battle to collect more power. Because as the movie’s tagline goes, “there can be only one” immortal left standing.
More from The Hollywood Reporter
Highlander’s green light is part of a sweeping new deal Stahelski and Lionsgate announced Tuesday. The pact will give Stahelski oversight of two franchises: Highlander and John Wick, the latter of which has spanned four films directed by Stahelski and starring Keanu Reeves. Those films, and Stahelksi’s stunt-focused 87Eleven Entertainment, have been praised for reinventing the action genre, with the latest installment standing as the series highest grossing with $440 million globally. It was nominated for a SAG Award last week for stunt ensemble.
Stahelski will shepherd both franchises across TV (Wick dipped its toe into the small screen with The Continental last year).
“This deal expands on the great creative relationship we already have in place on John Wick and extends it to our Highlander franchise,” said Joe Drake, the outgoing chair of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group and Adam Fogelson, chair of the MPG. “From the outset, Chad has been the creative force defining the world of Wick; as we continue to think about the future for that world, we want Chad, working together with Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee of Thunder Road, as our stewards guiding us and strategizing together at every step. This deal makes it official, and we look forward to his steady hand and creative input not just on the film he is making, but other stories that arise from it. He is a true visionary, and we are thrilled to have him in our corner.”
Stahelski’s partners on Highlander will be producer Neal H. Moritz and the estate Peter S. Davis, the late producer of the original film.
“I am pleased to be able to grow my relationship with Lionsgate in this new oversight role for the John Wick universe and its further expansion,” said Stahelski. “John Wick is so close to my heart and to be able to continue shepherding it will be a blast for me. I’m so happy to also be launching another franchise with Highlander, a world that is so rich with engaging stories to be told.”
Coming up, John Wick has the spinoff The Ballerina due out June 7. Len Wiseman directed the film, which features a cameo from Reeves and stars Ana de Armas. Lionsgate is also discussing a fifth Wick film.
As for Highlander, Stahelski has spoken of it often in interviews over the years.
The director told The Hollywood Reporter in 2020: “It’s just a tough nut to crack because the Highlander property is so involved and the mythology is so deep. But to try and make it our own, and be somewhat true to the original, yet do it in a way that makes it ours, is a little tricky. We don’t want to do a remake. We don’t want to do a reinvention. We want to do something that’s fresh, that utilizes the mythology of what everyone loves from the first movie.”
Stahelski came up in the world of stunts, and worked on the first John Wick with partner David Leitch, who also has gone on to direct numerous blockbusters. Stahelski is repped by WME and attorney Tara Kole.
Best of The Hollywood Reporter