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EXCLUSIVE: In the world of Highlander reboots, there can still only be one…and it’s a good one at that.
For the first time, Lionsgate will be launching sales at the AFM on their long-gestating fantasy reboot which has Henry Cavill aboard to star as the eponymous Scottish swordsman and John Wick filmmaker Chad Stahelski set to direct.
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We hear this will be a big-budget proposition, north of $100M. Stahelski himself has previously talked about it as akin to John Wick with swords. The team is eyeing a 2024 start.
This will be welcome news for AFM buyers whose pool of pre-sale projects has been diminished by the ongoing strike.
The new movie will be based on the 1986 original, which starred Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery and Clancy Brown as immortal beings, hunting down one another and collecting more power. The time-jumping film — with its “There can be only one” tagline — spawned four sequels and three TV series including the popular USA series starring Adrian Paul. Queen memorably provided the soundtrack for the original movie.
Producing the reboot are Joshua Davis, Fast And The Furious producer Neal H. Moritz, Stahelski (thru his 87Eleven Entertainment production company) and Louise Rosner.
The current draft of the screenplay is by Mike Finch. The late Peter S. Davis, producer of the original Highlander, initiated development of the new film. Summit first acquired remake rights to the original in 2008.
Former Superman and The Witcher actor Cavill remains in high demand. Among movies in post are Matthew Vaughn’s Argylle and two Guy Ritchie projects, including WWII pic The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.
Stahelski has directed all four John Wick films, which have been a goldmine for Lionsgate, taking more than $1BN. He previously talked about the new Highlander as the first in a trilogy but we’ve not had word whether that’s still the case.
Cavill and Stahelski were attached and reported before the strike.
The arrival of the Highlander reboot is a shot in the arm for the AFM, whose business has been hampered by the SAG-AFTRA strike. This and Kevin Costner’s Horizon movies, which we told you this week would also be on sale, are the two biggest-budget prospects revealed for the market so far. A number of packages haven’t come together or aren’t being officially announced due to strike restrictions or anxiety over optics. Frankly, given the limitations posed by the strike, I’ve been surprised at the number of new or reworked projects that are on sale (many are shooting in Europe). There are still a handful of pre-sales packages for buyers to get their teeth into, even if more action may be done this market on completed and near-completed movies.
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