Henry Cavill’s Highlander reboot could be huge new fantasy franchise, director says

A Highlander reboot starring Henry Cavill is still in the works and could be the start of a major franchise, according to its director.

Beginning in 1986 with a fantasy film starring Christopher Lambert, the Highlander franchise spread across the end of the 20th century and into the 21st. It spawned four films, two live-action TV series and a series of original novels, among others.

A remake of the original film has been in the works since as early as 2008, with John Wick director Chad Stalheski coming on board in 2016. Reports claimed in 2021 that Cavill was in talks to lead the show, although few updates have been shared since.

However, speaking in a new interview, Stalheski said that the new Highlander film was coming, and could mean big things for Cavill following his departure from The Witcher.

Asked on the Happy Sad Confused podcast if Cavill was still attached or they were “far down the road”, Stalheski told host Josh Horowitz: “I think we have some very good elements now. The trick is when you have the tagline: ‘There can only be one’, you just can’t kill everybody the first time.

“I’ll say it for you first, 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 set-up to ‘The Gathering’ [a 1992 episode of the series], so we have room to grow the property.”

Stalheski compared it to John Wick, which he says he’d never intended to turn into a franchise and would only continue with a strong enough idea.

“Highlander, I can tell you right now… if we got our s*** together and we pull off the feature, we have ideas for days about how to make the coolest characters and to make that an epic TV show.

Henry Cavill in ‘The Witcher’ (Netflix)
Henry Cavill in ‘The Witcher’ (Netflix)

“I just think that’s a rich, rich, rich, rich mythology. When you can pick any period in time, any nationality, any culture, any type of person and make them an immortal, then have to duel and deal with the burden of immortality, that’s f***ing cool to me.”

Stalhelski added that it was a “creative burden”, saying: “I don’t want to be the guy that f***s this up.”

Last year, Cavill announced that he was stepping down from his leading role in another fantasy franchise: Netflix’s The Witcher.

Cavill starred as demon hunter Geralt of Rivia in the popular show, based on the popular video game of the same name. However, he left the show after three seasons and will be replaced by Liam Hemsworth going forward.

Speaking earlier this month, The Witcher director Marc Jobst suggested that the “demanding” nature of filming the series may have had a hand in Cavill’s exit.

“Look, Henry has done three series, these are demanding shows to make, you know, they are huge,” he said. “Henry does every single beat of his stunts, he won’t even allow a hand, if you’re doing a close-up of a hand grabbing a sword, it has to be his hand.

“That’s draining on your number one, so after three series, I feel, OK, he’s brought the show into being, and if he feels like he’s done what he can, I trust him.”