In a surprise move, Summit Entertainment and producers Neal H. Moritz, Peter Davis, and Justin Lin (who was first slated to direct the reboot) have chosen first timer Cedric Nicolas-Troyan to direct the Highlander reboot. You’re probably asking yourself, “Who the hell is that?”
Nicolas-Troyan was the Second Unit Director for Snow White And The Huntsman as well as Angela Jolie’s soon to be released Maleficent. He has a background that includes visual effects work for The Ring, and two of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. If you want to get an idea of his directing style you can check out the short, Carrot VS Ninja, below.
What did you think? Of course you can’t really base your whole opinion on whether he is the man for the job off one short, but looking at the overall tone of the short, we can start to get a general idea of how he handles action, timing, and humor.
Nicolas-Troyan had this to say about taking the reins of Highlander:
I have been working on my pitch for this since the summer, and when I got there I met the original producer and I just started geeking out and he loved it. The first movie came out when I was a teenager in France and it was one of my favorite films of those years. I loved the series also, they shot a lot of it in France, on the Seine River. My first reaction, like everybody else, was, really, do we need a remake? Then I read the script, and I thought about how Russell Mulcahy was this super visual video director who brought the pulse of the 80s to the film so well. I started thinking about taking those great characters and matching them with a modern, visceral take, and then I was in love with the idea and I just went for it.
He also touched on the themes of the franchise and what he wants to explore in the reboot.
For me, it all comes down to that first movie, but there are great themes in the show. It’s the rare cross-genre concept that has elements of the Western, time travel, fantasy, action, contemporary. There are universal themes, but of course you need to provide the answers like the first film did. Who are these guys with swords? Why are they fighting each other? What is the prize and how are they drawn to each other? There is far more at work here I want to explore than the lightning that happens during the Quickening.
Casting for the 2014 shooting schedule should begin soon, Ryan Reynolds was attached as the lead but he’s since dropped out. Who else might take the role? Will the production use the original’s casting template? Casting a relative unknown as Conner and a well-recognized veteran as Ramirez? I’d love to see Ron Perlman as Ramirez. My only request is that a Professional Wrestler NOT be cast as Kurgan. There has to be a better route than that.
Nicolas-Troyan also touched on casting the roles:
Back then Christopher hadn’t done a lot of things and was just emerging, and Sean Connery, that movie brought about a real resurgence for him. We have to find that younger emerging guy, and surround him with a strong Kurgan, and an actor who shines as Ramirez the way Connery did in that film.
Who would you cast in the reboot? Do you think the franchise can be jump started and returned to greatness?