2014 was a real milestone year for John Wick debut directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. The hit film has since become the continuing reference point for both veteran stunt professionals and second unit directors as the two grew more and more prolific over the past couple of years with both names being in the mix to helm several titles.
Keep that in mind while we pan over to the long-awaited reboot developments toward the fantasy sci-fi classic property, Highlander, which landed in 1986 from director Russell Mulcahy. The film was a flop but grew more and more popular as a cult hit over the years, spawning four sequels and several TV shows before Summit Entertainment’s own acquisition of the rights in 2008.
The original film became the subject of a 4K restoration for its home release on Blu-Ray earlier this year for the film’s 30th anniversary, as well as the forthcoming prequel miniseries comic book from IDW Publishing next year. Thus, it’s pretty timely that the film itself would make headlines this week now with word that the film finally found a director in Stahelski.
“I’ve been a huge fan of the original property since I saw it in high school,” Stahelski told The Hollywood Reporter. “Such great themes of immortality, love, and identity are all wrapped up in such colorful mythology. I can’t think of a better property that gives the opportunity to create interesting characters, mythic themes and action set pieces.”
The film comes following the last several years with a few names coming and going through the revolving door, the last being The Huntsman helmer Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. Stahelski may be joined by upcoming The Coldest City and Deadpool 2‘s newly appointed helmer, Leitch, via their 87 Eleven action and film production banner next to Neal H. Moritz and Peter Davis producing with a script and screenwriter pending to help revamp the tale of a man turned immortal centuries ago, afflicting him as a competitive figure in a hidden battlefield against other immortals where specific rules apply with one-on-one combat.
Stahelski recently wrapped John Wick: Chapter Two for its February 10 release next year for Lionsgate and is also servicing action direction for director Wang Xiaolie’s forthcoming Spring 2017 production, Triple Threat, starring Tiger Chen, Tony Jaa and Iko Uwais.
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.