The Highlander Reboot
|February 15, 2011
Mike M. | Views: 6013
So, word is that they are planning to reboot the Highlander series, and all initial results point to it being a disaster, but hey, J.J. Abram's Star Trek looked pretty disastrous right up until the actual movie aired, and that turned out great. Who knows, we might get a nice surprise, but I'm not too hopeful.
One of the great things about the original movie is its simplicity; it's about immortals that cut off each others heads to gain power. The last immortal standing gets an unidentified prize. That's it. That's all you need to know.
You can add more complexities, like the rules that they follow, the intertwined time-lines, and the mysteries behind their powers, but at its core, this is a series about kick ass people cutting off other people's heads.
Even better is that you can completely ignore EVERYTHING related to this series that happened after the original movie. If the film stays true to the source material, than it probably won't be great, but could at least start a launching pad for the series to go into new directions, and the existing sequels have set a very low bar to beat.
What is needed:
You need three main characters:
Conner MacLeod: Our simple hero, who finds out that he's immortal and will never age, although his wife doesn't share his gifts. Once she dies, he can go on a journey to claim the prize.
Ramirez: Sean Connery played the Scottish guy, with a Spanish name who is actually Egyptian. He is the traditional mentor to McLeod, and will probably die in every movie he appears in.
Kurgan: The bad guy, he's evil for the sake of it. Unlike McLeod, he loves being immortal and will kill anyone he comes across.
The film can add, alter, or erase any other characters, but at the core, these three are trinity that will make or break the film.
There are certain things that if not added into a Highlander movie, will cause internet reviewers to get angry and threaten to boycott the studio. (Presented in no particular order)
1) The Quickening: The special effects extravaganza that happens after a Highlander's head is cut off. If this doesn't cause a lot of lightening and explosions, then don't bother making this film.
2) Flashbacks: Most of the character development is done in flashbacks, this is so that we can get some cool period piece fighting happening along with the character development.
3) The holy ground rule: Highlanders can't fight on holy ground. This film doesn't need to answer why, but maybe it could show us what happens when they try to.
4) No Kids: Immortals can't have kids, and this is a film for adults. Kids can only watch this because their father's let them so that they can feel cool.
5) Sword fighting: The only way that you can kill an immortal is if you separated their head from their body. Now a bazooka or RPG could probably do the trick, but that's not what this is about, this is about demi-gods on Earth being manly and beating everything with their sword.
6) Queen: At least one song on the soundtrack has to be by Queen. This is non-negotiable.
Some cool ideas to add:
The Highlander movie was already done right the first time, so if they're going to remake it, there are a lot of things that they could add.
World War Two Sequences: Hollywood is always making a movie about this, so why not just grab some extra costumes and sneak on set to have a sword fight while Berlin burns? Actually, any flashbacks that take place outside of medieval times would be an improvement.
More Immortals: Let's see some samurai immortals, Native American ones, Chicago gangsters, they don't need to be in the film long, but having the different fighting styles would make for some pretty entertaining fights.
Trackers: Why not have some family of mortals dedicated to tracking down immortals? How would the average human stack up against one of these guys? I can think of some creative strategies.
Watchers: It might be cool to have some higher order watching the immortals and making sure the rules are followed. Anthony Steward Head isn't doing anything right now.
Some ideas to avoid:
To say that there are A LOT of mistakes in the Highlander series would be an understatement, so lets look at some things that should not be reused:
Zeist: If you know what this word is, you probably wish you didn't. Please don't look it up.
A drawn out love story: Highlander is not about the love story. It plays a part in McLeod's origins, so it's cool to keep it in, but don't dwell on it. Highlander was never at its best when it was focusing on doomed love.
Crappy Sequels: It is okay if they end this movie with the prize, or if they leave it open for further sequels. As long as they have something decent planned. If the next movie takes place in a watered down cyberpunk future, the fans will attempt a quickening on the studio's heads.
Get someone who knows the material and respects it to make this. The Highlander reboot is one that has the ability to easily surpass the original franchise, or turn it into an irredeemable laughingstock. If the current writers and directors on this project enjoy the original as much as I do, than give them a shot; but if they are just put there for name recognition and the ability to work cheap, then I have a better solution:
I'll write this movie for FREE!
That's right I'm willing to give away a detailed outline to the studio at no charge. (Just follow this link, you have nothing to lose)
Why am I doing this? Because I know this franchise can be saved and be just as long lasting and powerful as its lead characters.