Film unit aims to restart franchise

Summit Entertainment will produce a remake of fantasy thriller “Highlander” with the aim of kick-starting the franchise.

Summit’s signed the “Iron Man” writing team of Art Marcum and Matt Holloway to script, with plans to expand on the original pic’s premise of immortals battling each other for a mysterious prize. Company’s aiming to go into production next year.

Patrick Wachsberger, Summit’s co-chairman and president, said, “I have always dreamed of reinventing this franchise.”

Summit production prexy Erik Feig told Daily Variety that the new pic will mix contemporary settings, action, mythology and medieval Scotland.

“We think the franchise will work on a global basis,” he added.

Summit acquired the remake rights from Davis/Panzer Prods. It has tapped Peter Davis, one of the producers of the original film, to produce the new version.

The 1986 original was directed by Russell Mulcahy and starred Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown and Roxanne Hart. It launched four sequels and three TV spinoffs.

In addition to “Iron Man,” Marcum and Holloway also wrote “Convoy” for Par.

Summit has been ramping up operations for the past year from a sales operation into a full-fledged studio with development, financing, production and distribution. It’s focused on projects budgeted in the middle range and plans to release 10-12 films annually. Recent pics include “Sex Drive” and Alexander Proyas’ “Knowing,” currently shooting with Nicolas Cage starring.

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