It must have been exciting year for Justin Lin, as he went from a mid-tier action director to the next heir-apparent of the action filmmaking throne. After the success of Fast Five his name was on every shortlist in Hollywood, but even before Fast Five hit and the Terminator deal happened, he was being groomed as the man to requicken Highlander for Summit. That bubble burst some time ago, but Lin will still be involved as a producer and he along with the studio have finally picked who will helm the remake, and it’s Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later).
Juan has a new film out called Intruders (trailer) that stars Clive Owen as a dude who might be beating his kids up, or might be living in a house plagued by monsters in hoodies. That film is showing at the Toronto Intl Film Festival currently, and while in town the director went ahead and signed off on Summit’s offer, which was rumored throughout the day yesterday but is now confirmed news worth reporting. Now the horror director will take on the sword-swinging, head-flying cult film concerning immortals for a modern audience.
Highlander is a franchise I’m only vaguely familiar with, and I know of it only through the prism of my father’s enthusiasm for it. He was a fan of the television series, which was interestingly one of the shows that you could own on home video back in the 90s. Long before full season DVDs and Netflix made all-at-once consumption of a show the almost default mode of watching a series, you would speak with publishing companies on the phone and negotiate deals for extremely expensive VHS sets. My father bought one or two, and from then on they would call the house hoping to convince him to buy another. For years we received magazines filled with swords, branded leather jackets, and other Highlander memorabilia that I enjoyed flipping through in the bathroom. I’m fairly certain this was all the same company that really experienced a boom when Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter drove up the desire for (kind of) high quality fantasy memorabilia, because we eventually started getting those brochures too.
The internet and DVD has changed those markets drastically, and this new reboot will drag Highlander out of the cult realm and make it a fully tarted up studio picture. Of course, they better not spend too much– or they’ll have a Scottish Conan on their hands.
Regardless of what turns out with this Lin/Fresnadillo remake, I’ll always remember the weird presence of the franchise in my house growing up.
“Dad, the Highlander people called again…”
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Source | Deadline