Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, the two scripters currently receiving praise for their screenplay of this summer’s blockbuster Iron Man, have been hired to pen a remake of the 1980s genre classic Highlander for Summit Entertainment.
The original 1986 film centered on a group of immortals who battle each other through history for a vaguely defined, but powerfully, Prize that would go to the last remaining one. It starred Christopher Lambert as the titular Scottish swordsman. Although it did only average box office upon its release, the film found an audience on home video. The film also spawned a series of sequels that were not well received by fans, prompting them to take the first Highlander‘s oft repeated phrase “There can be only one,” and change it to “There should have been only one [film].” A television series was also spun off and featured the adventures of Lambert’s character’s cousin, another immortal. It was better received by fans and ran for six seasons in syndication.
Peter Davis one of the producers of the original film, is attached to the new version as well. According to the Hollywood Reporter–
Davis said the new Highlander will not just be a remake but will incorporate more backstory elements and prequel aspects that will be fleshed out to expand the story line in a way that is inventive yet faithful to the original story. He also said romance was key to the series’ popularity and would be a central theme in the new film. “I would hate to think that people viewed Highlander as a sword fighting movie because it’s much more than that,” he said. “The issues of an immortal falling in love with a woman and knowing she’s going to grow old and die in your arms, those are very romantic issues to deal with.”
Its nice to see that Davis is aware of one of the underlying themes that made the first film so good. Unfortunately, Davis seems to have not been aware of this when he was producer on a majority of the Highlander sequels, including the universally reviled Highlander II: The Quickening, which attempted to completely rewrite the first film’s backstory concerning the Immortals. Here’s hoping that the “backstory elements and prequel aspects” he is referring to don’t come from there.
Marcum and Holloway have their script Convoy – Yes, a remake of Sam Peckinpah’s 1979 trucker movie – set up at Paramount.