Adding to his growing list of marquee franchises, the star of “Man of Steel” and Netflix’s “The Witcher” is in negotiations to star in Lionsgate’s reboot of “Highlander,” the 1986 fantasy adventure film that spawned an entire pop-culture ecosystem, including sequels, TV series, tie-in novels, comics and video games.
Chad Stahelski (“John Wick”) is directing, with Neal H. Moritz, Josh Davis and David Leitch producing. Amanda Lewis, Patrick Wachsberger and Gregory Widen will executive produce. Kerry Williamson (“What Happened to Monday”) is writing.
Cavill’s role is unclear, but he will be one of two leads in the film. The original film starred Christopher Lambert as Connor MacLeod — a Scottish warrior born in the 16th century who learns he is an immortal after he dies in battle, only to come back to life — and Sean Connery as Connor’s mentor, an Egyptian improbably named Juan Sánchez-Villalobos Ramírez (although he was born with the name Tak-Ne). Juan teaches Connor that he is one of a small handful of humans who are born with what is called the Quickening, which allows them to live forever — unless they are beheaded. Centuries later in present day New York, Connor faces off against the Kurgan (Clancy Brown), another immortal who is bent on beheading all immortals, thereby becoming the most powerful being on Earth.
When the film first opened, it was a flop, grossing just $5.9 million domestically, but it was so popular on home video that Lambert and Connery starred in a sequel in 1991, and the franchise expanded from there. A reboot has been in various stages of development for over a decade; directors including Justin Lin and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, and stars including Ryan Reynolds and Dave Bautista have all been attached at various points.
Cavill, meanwhile, has been busy shooting Season 2 of “The Witcher” for Netflix, and he recently signed up to play Sherlock Holmes again opposite Millie Bobby Brown’s titular performance in “Enola Holmes 2.” His days playing Superman, however, appear to be over, with Warner Bros. rebooting the franchise with producer J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Deadline first reported the news.