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Chad Stahelski is expanding his upcoming Highlander reboot into a trilogy

01.30.2017

Highlander reboot Chad Stahelski

When it comes to rebooting a classic franchise for a new generation, there can definitely be more than one. Lionsgate had been trying to get a reboot of HIGHLANDER off the ground for close to a decade before they finally snatched JOHN WICK co-director Chad Stahelski to direct, and it seems that he has big plans for the franchise. While chatting with Collider about the upcoming JOHN WICK: CHAPTER TWO, Stahelski commented on where they're at with the HIGHLANDER reboot.

We’re currently doing a bit of work on the overall plot structure. When I came on board, they were trying to reinvent the single Highlander property. We’ve gone since back in and we would like to really expand the world, so we consider the same shortcomings don’t happen again that happened on the original project, meaning you have one great movie and four questionable followups. We want to develop a property that can give us — and again it’s not about marketing, it’s not so much about the financials, it’s about how can we make a more mythological, chapter one, chapter two, whats a great way to tell this story?

Chad Stahelski is not only a big fan of the original HIGHLANDER film, but the entire franchise, including the Highlander TV series. In order to reinvent the franchise and expand the mythology enough to accommodate a trilogy, Stahelski is looking to draw material from all aspects of the HIGHLANDER series.

I think the TV series hit on a lot of great stuff wasn’t in the feature, between the watchers and all the different types of immortals. How do we get this into a feature mode before we dribble it into the TV world? Well, let’s restructure it in parts, let’s look at it like it was a TV show, let’s look at it like it was a high-end trilogy. How to we tell the story of the gathering, the quickenings, the immortals and how do we really build this world out even more so than the original project. That’s what we’re restructuring right now. It’s taking all the good stuff that we had before I was involved in the project from the script; redeveloping the script to give us really good chapters one, two and three; and expanding the world.

The vision we’re trying to get across and what we’re trying to develop, I equate very close to Star Wars. The first one us a very satisfying ending but it does leave the door open and that’s kind of how I see this. I would really like to expand it over three. I see the gathering happening over three. It’s tricky don’t get me wrong, that’s why we’re still developing it. We want to be able to tell three complete stories that all kind of fit. I think the Star Wars trilogy, at least up to The Empire Strikes Back, is a good example of how we want to process it.

The folks at Lionsgate were impressed with Stahelski's work on JOHN WICK, but there's no guarantee that his HIGHLANDER reboot will follow in JOHN WICK's bloody R-rated footsteps, at least, not yet. Just as Stahleski and his JOHN WICK co-director David Leitch never set out to make a "hardcore rated-R action movie," Stahleski is following a similar approach with HIGHLANDER.

Ratings are second to what we’re going to do. Highlander, I think the action is — at least what’s  in my head — is going to fall on a line, for sure. We want to design it what we think is aesthetically cool, and so far I’ve met no resistance, they’re like, ‘Look, whatever you did with John Wick with the gun stuff, we want you to try and do with the sword stuff. We want you to make something cool and something unique, and something that’s going to make audiences say ‘Wow, I haven’t seen that before.'

Stahelski adds that he doesn't want to be "gory for gory's sake" nor "clean for clean's sake," but merely concentrate on making a "great urban myth" and see where it lands. Sounds good. Stahelski's next, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER TWO, is set to hit theaters on February 10, 2017.

Source: Collider

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