Director Chad Stahelski Promises Henry Cavill’s Highlander Film Will “Encapsulate Everything You Loved About The Original With More”
John Wick director Chad Stahelski, who is also working with Henry Cavill on the upcoming Highlander project, recently promised that the movie will “encapsulate everything you loved about the original with more.”
Speaking with TheWrap, Stahelski said, “We’re trying to encapsulate everything you loved about the original with more – meaning we want to ground it, we want it to be a great chance at world-building and mythology. But we still want to keep it fun.”
“It’s like the ‘Wick’ movies,” he said. “You want to experience this world, you want to believe it’s real. But it’s also five degrees off from reality. This is a movie with immortals running around chopping each others’ heads off. There’s a certain ridiculousness to it. It’s like the ‘Wick’s. We ride the tone. Everybody in the movie thinks its real. But we as an audience can get our heads around it – look, suspend disbelief. We’re trying to get you on board for this amazing journey with people who have lived hundreds of years. It’s a challenge. But I’m very excited.”
To that end, Stahelski confirmed the film would feature music from Queen.
The original 1986 film starring Christopher Lambert and directed by Russell Mulcahy featured a number of songs from Queen including “A Kind of Magic,” “One Year Of Love,” “Hammer To Fall,” “Gimme the Prize,” “Princes of the Universe,” A Dozen Red Roses for my Darling,” and “New York, New York.”
In fact, Queen rocker Brian May also wrote “Who Wants to Live Forever” after viewing the romantic scenes between the film’s main character Connor MacLeod and his wife Heather.
After the project spending years in development, it appears it will be finally moving forward sometime next year.
Deadline reported at the end of October that the film will have a $100 million production budget and Lionsgate is aiming to have the film go into production sometime in 2024.
Back in 2017, Stahelski informed Collider that he and his team were tinkering on how to structure the film and were looking at the property in the vein of a high end trilogy.
He said, “I think the TV series hit on a lot of great stuff wasn’t in the feature, between the watchers and all the different types of immortals. How do we get this into a feature mode before we dribble it into the TV world? Well, let’s restructure it in parts, let’s look at it like it was a TV show, let’s look at it like it was a high-end trilogy. How do we tell the story of the gathering, the quickenings, the immortals, and how do we really build this world out even more so than the original project?”
“That’s what we’re restructuring right now,” he said. “It’s taking all the good stuff that we had before I was involved in the project from the script; redeveloping the script to give us really good chapters one, two and three; and expanding the world.”
Stahelski further explained why he was looking at making the property into a trilogy, “
The vision we’re trying to get across and what we’re trying to develop, I equate very close to Star Wars. The first one is a very satisfying ending but it does leave the door open and that’s kind of how I see this. I would really like to expand it over three. I see the gathering happening over three.”
“It’s tricky don’t get me wrong, that’s why we’re still developing it,” he noted. “We want to be able to tell three complete stories that all kind of fit. I think the Star Wars trilogy, at least up to The Empire Strikes Back, is a good example of how we want to process it.”
Stahelski would more recently inform Josh Horowitz that the project had come a long way, but he was staying true to the vision he outlined to Collider back in 2017 albeit he also teased it could be spun off into a TV series as well.
The director stated, “We’re looking to do our story– engages a lot of the same characters and stuff like that. But we’ve also brought in elements of all the TV shows, and we’re trying to do a bit of a prequel, a setup for the The Gathering. So we have room to grow the property.”
“If we got our s**t together and we pulled off the feature, like yeah, we have ideas for days about how to make the coolest characters and to make that an epic TV show. I just think that’s a rich, rich material. When you can pick any period in time, any nationality, any culture, any type of person, and make them an immortal that have to duel and deal with the burden of immortality that’s f***ing cool to me,” he concluded.
What do you make of Stahelski’s promise when it comes to Highlander?