It has been almost half a year since we’ve heard any real news about Summit’s ongoing attempt to relaunch the Highlander franchise. At that time, attached star Ryan Reynolds had dropped out of the project and with director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo also having left the previous December, it looked pretty much dead in the water. But the studio has persevered and has now hired Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, visual effects supervisor and second unit director on Snow White And The Huntsman, to make his feature film directing debut with the picture.
Deadline‘s Mike Fleming spoke with Nicolas-Troyan, who comes across as a fan of the franchise.
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.
(I should note that Fleming sounds like a Highlander fanboy as well and a portion of his story reads like two fans just nerding out on the franchise.)
The script that he is referring to is by Iron Man writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. I liked the initial draft that I read back in 2009, but it has gone through some additional writers’ hands since then. Deadline is reporting that Nicolas-Troyan will be supervising a “fast pass” rewrite of the screenplay in advance of production beginning in 2014, though it is unclear if Marcum and Holloway’s original script will be used as the basis or if they will be working from one of the rewrites that were written at the behest of the various directors who were previuosly attached and then unattached from the film.