Highlander is kind of a thing with me. I’ve been a fan ever since I saw the 90’s TV series with Adrian Paul. The various interpretations and continuities all follow a member of the Clan MacLeod who discovers that they are a member of a secret race of immortals and fight to defend the world from evil immortals who seek to gain a power known as “the prize” once all other immortals are dead which they could use to conquer or even destroy the world. The classic 1986 film starred Christopher Lambert as Connor MacLeod who fought against the great evil known only as The Kurgan played by the always excellent Clancy Brown. I’m such a fan that I spent a couple of months in 2011 going through every piece of Highlander media I could get my hands on including the films, the live action TV series, the cartoon, the anime, and some of the Big Finish audio dramas.
So yeah, I’m a fan.
This week Summit Entertainment announced that the new director for the Highlander remake will be none other than Cedric Nicolas-Troyan!
“Who the hell is that?” I hear you asking.
Nicolas-Troyan has spent years as a special effects artist with his last major gig being the special effects supervisor and second unit director on Snow White And The Huntsman. Highlander will be Nicolas-Troyan’s directorial debut which in a way is fitting as the director of the original Highlander in 1986, Russell Mulcahy was primarily known for music videos until the release of the cult classic film. Nicolas-Troyan is a professed fan of the Highlander franchise and intends to supervise a final pass on the script before the film starts production in 2014 so that he can add in cool elements from all the works under the Highlander banner.
“For me, it all comes down to that first movie, but there are great themes in the show, it’s the rare cross-genre concept that has elements of the Western, time travel, fantasy, action, contemporary. There are universal themes, but of course you need to provide the answers like the first film did. Who are these guys with swords? Why are they fighting each other? What is the prize and how are they drawn to each other? There is far more at work here I want to explore than the lightning that happens during the Quickening.”
From this information it sounds like one thing sure to be included into this edition of the movie is the Watchers, a secret group of mortals who through the generations have acted as historians of the lives of the immortals and their drive to fight one another in one-on-one combat until only one remains alive in what immortals refer to as “the game.” Another likely bit to find its way into the new movie is the famous theme song “Princes of the Universe” performed by Queen. One thing almost sure not to be included is any mention of the planet Zeist.
Seriously, if you put even one mention of Zeist in this movie Cedric, you and I are going to have words!
So am I excited about the new movie? Kinda-sorta-maybe. Nicolas-Troyan looks like competent action director but looking at his work on Snow White And The Huntsman
it easy to see how he could turn the gritty sword fights into over stylized nonsense, a problem the franchise has had more than once. Highlander has always been at its best when it keeps the magical and mythical elements minimal and vague and tries to stay as grounded in reality as possible. The biggest problem with the franchise is the fact that creator Gregory Widen’s initial concept doesn’t lend itself to being a franchise in the first place. The first movie was about the battle of the final two immortals and once that was done the story was pretty much over. To continue on they had to create a bunch of dumb plot contrivances with each movie to explain why Connor was once again going to battle an immortal since they were all supposed to be dead and he had claimed “the prize.” The TV series fared better as it was set during “the game” but all the fighting and death found in every episode soon stretched the limits of what even the most forgiving fans were able to take. The Highlander franchise has had so many misfires, some due to poor executions of good ideas and some because they were just bad ideas that should’ve stayed in whatever festering mind cooked them up. Hell, I’m a fan and even I wouldn’t call most of the franchise good! Every fiber of my being wants this movie to be great, but as a longtime fan I know better than to get my hopes up.
So are you excited about the Highlander reboot? Do you prefer Connor or Duncan? Sound off in the comments below!
Remember Cedric, no Zeist , whatever you do NO ZIEST!