A Highlander reboot has been in development for over a dozen years, and during that time a revolving door of writers, directors and potential stars have circled the project at various points.
Iron Man scribes Art Marcum and Matt Holloway were initially tasked with penning the screenplay, with Justin Lin signing on to direct. Three years later, Twilight‘s Melissa Rosenberg came aboard to tackle a new draft, while Lin was replaced by 28 Weeks Later‘s Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, who cast Ryan Reynolds in the lead before both of them dropped out.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War helmer Cedric Nicolas-Trovan was next to sit in the director’s chair, and he reportedly got as far as bringing in Dave Bautista as The Kurgan before that also fell apart, with John Wick‘s Chad Stahelski having been in charge as of November 2016. Very little movement has been made on Highlander since then, but things took a huge step forward yesterday when Henry Cavill entered talks to star.
Insider Daniel Richtman now claims that the actor took the role to prove a point to Warner Bros. that he doesn’t need them, which would admittedly be an odd and very spiteful career move to headline another franchise as revenge for being overlooked as Superman, when the more likely scenario is that he’s interested in the property and was convinced by whatever pitch was made to him by Stahelski and/or writer Kerry Williamson.
Of course, Richtman has floated all sorts of speculation surrounding Cavill’s relationship or lack thereof with WB recently, but the facts are that he hasn’t worked for the studio since wrapping his Justice League reshoots over four years ago, and has gone on to appear in Netflix’s The Witcher and Enola Holmes, as well as Saban Films’ Night Hunter and Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout. It’s literally the job for actors to tackle roles that appeal to them regardless of where they’re set up, and Lionsgate’s Highlander is evidently the latest to win him over.