Summit Entertainment hasn’t had the easiest of roads when it comes to development on its Highlander reboot; we’ve already seen both director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) and leading man Ryan Reynolds (Turbo) depart the project, but it seems the studio hasn’t given up hopes of bringing Connor MacLeod back to the screen with Deadline reporting that Cedric Nicolas-Troyan has signed on to make his feature directorial debut. An Academy Award-nominated VFX supervisor for Snow White and the Huntsman, Nicolas Troyan’s other VFX credits include One Hour Photo, The Ring, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, while he’s also served as second unit director on Disney’s upcoming Maleficent.
“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,” states Nicolas-Troyan. “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.”
“For me, it all comes down to that first movie, but there are great themes in the show,” he continued. “It’s the rare cross-genre concept that has elements of the Western, time travel, fantasy, action, contemporary. There are universal themes, but of course you need to provide the answers like the first film did. Who are these guys with swords? Why are they fighting each other? What is the prize and how are they drawn to each other? There is far more at work here I want to explore than the lightning that happens during the Quickening… Back then Christopher Lambert hadn’t done a lot of things and was just emerging, and Sean Connery, that movie brought about a real resurgence for him. We have to find that younger emerging guy, and surround him with a strong Kurgan, and an actor who shines as Ramirez the way Connery did in that film film.”
The Highlander reboot has been penned by Matt Holloway & Art Marcum (Iron Man, Punisher: War Zone) with rewrites from Melissa Rosenberg (The Twilight Saga, Dexter) and the film is being produced by Neal H. Moritz (Fast & Furious, Total Recall, 21 Jump Street) along with original franchise producer Peter Davis.