30
May
08

Remake Radar: Highlander

Heeeere we are…

Yep, at the end of May and with another edition of Remake Radar. This month’s selection: the sci-fi fantasy summer sleeper flick, “Highlander.”

 

“Highlander” (1986)

 

Stars: Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, and Roxanne Hart.

 

Director: Russell Mulcahy.

 

Story: Christopher Lambert (having just finished “Greystoke”) plays Connor Macleod (of the Scottish clan MacLeod) who was born in 1518 in the Highlands of Scotland. In the year 1536 he was killed by an immortal named “The Kurgan” only to wake up and walk and talk as if nothing happened. He’s quickly banished and moves out to the middle of nowhere, finds a wife, and begins settling down when he’s visited by Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez (Connery). Ramirez informs him that they are Immortal and cannot die unless they are beheaded. Oh yeah, and they can’t age or have children. For the next part, let me quote Connery from the movie:

 

From the dawn of time we came; moving silently down through the centuries, living many secret lives, struggling to reach the time of the Gathering; when the few who remain will battle to the last. No one has ever known we were among you… until now.

 

It’s now New York City, 1986. Connor has to stay alive to fight against The Kurgan as well as keeping his identity a secret from Brenda Wyatt, whose knowledge of swordsmanship gets her caught in the middle of Connor’s quest for the Gathering whereupon if he wins, he will attain “The Prize”: the ability to be able to resume growing old, be able to have kids, and know the thoughts of all men.

 

And remember: There Can Be Only One!

 

Based on a story by Gregory Widen.

 

On a personal note, I hadn’t heard of “Highlander” until some point in the early-Nineties. Once I had watched the initial U.S. Theatrical Cut, I was hooked. Immortality. Scotland. Swordfighting. Women. What else did you need?

 

As with a lot of “original” material, “Highlander” spawned several films (I watched “Final Dimension” and “Endgame” in theatres) that sucked, but the TV show with Connor’s cousin “Duncan” (played by Adrian Paul) was worth watching (except for when they got into the “Dark Quickening”). I tried to like the sequels, but “Highlander 2” destroyed the “mysticism” of the first, the third was a rehashing of the first, and the fourth was entirely unneeded. As for the current direct-to-DVD “Highlander: The Source,” I’m wasting digital characters just mentioning it.

 

But for reasons unknown, there has been resurgence in “all things Eighties.” The rock band Queen has reunited (sort of) and have “rock musical.” “Highlander” itself now has a comic book. I guess it was only time before someone would begin plotting a remake.

 

What do we know now?: “Iron Man” co-writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway are on this one. They’re thinking of using the “guy who cannot die watches as girlfriends who can, do.” That was the angle Widen supposedly wrote…

 

I’m not calling this game just yet, but I believe that the remake will suffer from serious lack of a rockin’ soundtrack. No rumours yet as to if Lambert, Brown, or anyone else from the original will make a cameo appearance. Original producer Peter Davis will be overlooking the project, though.

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