We were extremely excited when news hit today that John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2 director Chad Stahelski would be directing the Highlander reboot for Lionsgate.
The casting aspect seems to be a big question at the moment.
While it’s possible that Dave Bautista (Spectre, Blade Runner 2049, Guardians of The Galaxy) could still play villain Krugan, it’s unknown who will play the lead roles of MacLeod and his mentor Ramirez.
Scottish outlet Scotland Now mentioned over a year ago that Oscar nominee Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road, Taboo, Peaky Blinders, Inception, Dark Knight Rises, Dunkirk) was a frontrunner for the role of Connor MacLeod, as Ryan Reynolds vacated the part back in 2013.
The current frontrunner is Londoner Tom Hardy, who recently revived another iconic 80s action hero Mad Max.
It looks to be only a rumor, but with the Mad Max sequels looking to be delayed another couple of years (as Warner Bros. has yet to announced plans) it could give Tom some wiggle room to takeover another iconic 80s role. The only project Hardy is currently attached to is Josh Trank’s Fonzo, where Tom will play notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone.
We know that Hardy is attracted to these gritty roles and with a John Wick director attached I’m curious if that would be enough to land him. The project is indeed a franchise starter and we also have seen Hardy attempt to purse other franchise lead roles in the past.
I think paring Hardy’s Connor MacLeod and Keanu Reeves as Juan Ramirez would be perfect casting in my opinion, considering Reeves sword training thanks to 47 Ronin and his connection to Chad via John Wick. Ramirez uses a Japanese sword from his time living in Japan, so hiring an actor with a European and Asian background wouldn’t be a terrible idea.
The first film spawned four sequels, two television series spin-offs, an animated series/film, ten novels, nineteen comic book issues, and a Japanese anime film.
It remains to be seen if the new film will be just a carbon copy of the original or will incorporate more of the time jumping elements from the other installments. I personally enjoyed the future settings of Highlander II: The Quickening (as bad as it was) and the anime Highlander: The Search for Vengeance. I’d love to see Connor in the future rather than in the present, but of course this is a personal preference as it could make for an interesting visual contrast to flashback scenes in the past.