The long-gestating reboot of “Highlander” has now chosen its director. Cedric Nicolas-Troyan is “the one.” This will be the first feature where he’ll serve as director, after cutting his teeth as a visual effects supervisor and second unit director on films like “Snow White and The Huntsman.” Deadline broke the news and spoke to the man himself, fresh from landing the gig:
“I have been working on my pitch for this since the summer, and when I got there I met the original producer and I just started geeking out and he loved it. The first movie came out when I was a teenager in France and it was one of my favorite films of those years. I loved the series also, they shot a lot of it in France, on the Seine River. My first reaction, like everybody else, was, really, do we need a remake? Then I read the script, and I thought about how Russell Mulcahy was this super visual video director who brought the pulse of the 80s to the film so well. I started thinking about taking those great characters and matching them with a modern, visceral take, and then I was in love with the idea and I just went for it.”
The script for the remake is said to stick closely to the original film. With this reboot of the franchise, the prevailing philosophy is: Let’s start over with the same core elements, but let’s not lose our way this time. The filmmakers felt that the series started strong and then veered into strange directions, so they want to go back to the strong start and build from there. To his credit, Nicolas-Troyan seems to be a diehard fan who claims to really know and understand the Highlander mythology- as well as the elements that made the first film, and the eventual TV series, such a hit amongst its fan base. The Deadline article goes as far as to refer to him as a “Comic Con Caliber fan” of the series, just to put into perspective what level of excitement he’s bringing to this job.
He will soon begin the casting process. You may recall that Ryan Reynolds- the charming, charismatic leading man that just can’t seem to open a movie- was once attached to star in this one. Reynolds dropped out, which works out since Nicolas-Troyan seems to want to follow the casting formula from the first film, which is: Cast a fresh face for the MacLeod, a veteran presence for Ramirez, and a strong antagonist.
“Back then Christopher hadn’t done a lot of things and was just emerging, and Sean Connery, that movie brought about a real resurgence for him. We have to find that younger emerging guy, and surround him with a strong Kurgan, and an actor who shines as Ramirez the way Connery did in that film film.”
They’ll be working off a script written by Iron Man scribes, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, and the film will be produced by Neal H. Moritz and Peter Davis. Davis also produced the original film and series. The man who was once set to direct this, just as he was also once attached to reboot “Terminator,” Justin Lin, will remain onboard as an executive producer. The film will enter production in 2014 for, presumably, a 2015 release.