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John Wick Director Chad Stahelski Still Interested In Rebooting Highlander

Chad Stahelski's not giving up on his Highlander dream.

It's been a year since Stahelski, known for directing the John Wick films, revealed to Entertainment Weekly his plans to reboot Highlander, the action-adventure fantasy franchise that began with the Christopher Lambert-starring feature that followed immortal Scotsman Connor MacLeod and his battle against the man who sought to kill him. Stahelski went quiet about his wishes while helming John Wick 3: Parabellum, but now, the director has confirmed that he absolutely still wants to create a Highlander reboot movie. 

"I still very much want to go in and do Highlander," he told EW in a new interview. 

At the time he first mentioned his interest in directing Highlander, a script for which Colony writer Ryan Condal completed and sent off to Lionsgate in March of this year, Stahelski drew comparisons between the property and his own bullet-blasting John Wick series, and hinted that his background in stunt work would push him to do some crazy stuff with action sequences in the reboot. 

"Right now, I'm very interested in doing the Highlander property. It's scarily similar to John Wick. There's a great mythology, it's got an action-design challenge," said Stahelski. "What would a guy really be like after 500 years of practicing sword-work? I'm still a stunt guy at heart. You want to reinvent gunfights, how do you do it? You want to reinvent sword-fighting, how do you do it? And that's where we are at now. I love the first Highlander and I think I'm in a pretty good spot. The creative team, the producers and the studio that's behind it have kind of said, 'It's yours to play with.'

He added, "The trick would be coming up with an interesting way to introduce it to new audiences without stepping on what's great about the original property. You don't want to over complicate it. I think it speaks very simply: 'There can be only one!' 'We're immortals!' 'Don't get your head chopped off!' I think we all know what happened with the sequels." 

Stahelski also noted that he isn't interested in implementing any extraterrestrial elements seen in the Highlander follow-ups in the reboot, and that he has a clear vision in mind. 

"I think I can introduce you to an entire world of Immortals. Imagine the great characters you could have. I mean, it speaks for itself. So, that's the plan: to stay as true as we can to the original mythology, and just expand the world, and have fun within the world — without bringing in interstellar travel!" he said. 

It's evident Stahelski genuinely wants to make the refresh happen, but do the stars have something else mapped out for him? Will the fates really allow him to direct the Highlander reboot, or will another project pull him away and force him to concede to another filmmaker who will take on the revival and do with it something completely different? 

All those outcomes are equally possible, as Stahelski admitted that he's also entrenched in another project that he absolutely loves: Sandman Slim

"I'm a huge fan of a property I'm involved in, and working on the script now, called Sandman Slim, which I f***ing really really like," he stated. "It's a book series by Richard Kadrey. We're working on the script right now. So, between those two projects, I feel very fortunate."

Considering that Stahelski's John Wick films changed the action genre in a major way, it would be incredible to see what he might do with sword-fighting and fist-to-fist fights in a new version of Highlander. It's also promising that he has a clear-cut idea of what he would want such a reboot pic to look and feel like.

The time it would take to look over Condal's script, potentially rework things, and flesh the story out may be keeping the ever-busy Stahelski away from Highlander right now, but here's to hoping that his schedule frees up soon and that the reboot project can break free from development hell (where it's spent the last ten years trapped) sometime in the near future. For our part, we couldn't imagine anyone more fit to take on a property as wild as Highlander than the dude who spurred an entire film series off the back of the onscreen death of a puppy