Summit Entertainment has announced they’re remaking the original. When I first heard about this I cried foul. They shouldn’t be messing with it, especially since its last few outings (except for the animated film) have been dismal failures, bringing in almost no revenue with poorly plotted stories. However, I do admit to feeling a certain thrill at the news. As terrible as the last films were, I still love the franchise and want to see another movie.
My excitement has increased with the announcement of Iron Man writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway penning the script. They did a phenomenal job with Iron Man. It was a great story that served to modernize the comic but still do a good level of fan service. They managed to combine several different comic plots into one cohesive story.
I have some reservations, however, if some of the earlier reports are true. Justin Lin and Neal Moritz, the guys who directed and produced Fast & Furious are teaming together again for this film. Some of their earlier ideas suggested they wanted the immortals to possibly use guns and other more modern weapons. They suggest there could even be a scene where Connor is trying to snipe the Kurgan in order to knock him out and then chop off his head.
I have several issues with this take on the tale. One of the reasons the Highlander concept was so interesting was because the immortals were on a whole different plane. They had a certain code and rules, sticking to them no matter what. The idea of these ancient powerful beings dueling with swords is what made them awesome. Anyone can fire a gun and make explosions, but it takes finesse and real skill to wield a sword properly and effectually. Bringing gunplay into the series weakens the mythos of the story and makes the immortals seem less ethereal and mystical.
If these guys are going to have any success with this film and not upset the many die hard Highlander fans—who’s support they’ll need—they are going to have to back off the modern weapons idea and stick to what made Highlander cool in the first place: swords and people who know how to use them.
Either way, I’ll be there in the front row when it comes out, but I hope they don’t massacre one of my all time favorite films.