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The Highlander Reboot Is Still In The Works, According To Director Chad Stahelski - Exclusive

If there can be only one — one "Highlander" reboot, that is — then Chad Stahelski certainly seems like an obvious choice to direct it. The former stunt coordinator and fight choreographer has risen over the last decade to become one of the top action directors around, thanks to his deft handling of all four movies in the "John Wick" franchise, including his 2014 directorial debut (along with co-director David Leitch) on the original and the recently released "John Wick: Chapter 4."

As for "Highlander," a fresh remake of the 1986 fantasy cult classic — in which a Scotsman named Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) learns he is a member of a race of immortal beings who possess a fearsome power known as the Quickening — has been in development since at least 2008, with Stahelski coming aboard the project in 2016 and actor Henry Cavill reportedly attached to star in 2021.

Not much has been heard on the "Highlander" front since then, with Cavill busy starring in "The Witcher" series and the "Enola Holmes" movies, and Stahelski expanding the "John Wick" universe to four films in addition to a spin-off feature and a TV show. But as Stahelski told Looper in our exclusive interview, "Highlander" is still a going concern — at least for him.

"Still working on the script a little bit," he said when asked about its progress. "It's a little tough to crack because when there can be only one and you kill the one, you don't want to paint yourself into that corner quite yet. It's something I love. We know how deep the mythology is, but ... there's no purpose in going back and remaking the original. The first one was good, bad, awesome, quirky, fun, all wrapped into one ... to try to give it anything but an original perspective would do it a disservice."

Stahelski says expectations for a Highlander reboot are high

For a movie that was largely considered a critical toss-up and financial misfire when it arrived some 37 years ago, "Highlander" has done all right for itself, spawning an additional four feature films, an animated movie, three TV series, and assorted other media. A passionate fan base has sprouted around the mythology, putting the pressure on anyone interested in rebooting it from the ground up.

"People tell me, 'It's "John Wick" with swords,'" said Chad Stahelski about the prospect of directing such a project. "Yes, that would be awesome. I'd go see that movie for sure. But we're in a different time now ... Now the expectation is big. Can you crack it and keep it interesting and keep it grounded? I don't know. There's a lot to consider there."

Although it's not clear what role Henry Cavill would play in a new "Highlander" film — and Stahelski notes that Cavill's involvement at this point is dependent on what the script looks like — one thing that is certain is that a reboot, remake, or legacy sequel has to walk a fine line between embracing the mythology that has been developed over the course of the franchise's previous iterations and offering something new for the next generation of fans.

"It's something we've been working on pretty hard for the last six, seven years," shared Stahelski. "We've made amazing headway. It's something that I really hope does go — whether I'm the director on it or not, I think it should go. It's a great property. But it's taking everything you love about that world and coming up with [an] original perspective on it."

"John Wick: Chapter 4" is in theaters now.