VFX Supervisor Cedric Nicolas-Troyan to Direct 'Highlander' Reboot
by Ethan Anderton
October 29, 2013
Over the past year, Summit Entertaimnent's reboot of Highlander has lost both its director, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later), and star Ryan Reynolds. But now the project might be getting back on track as Deadline reports the studio has hired Cedric Nicolas-Troyan to make his directorial debut on the feature film which has a script from Iron Man writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. It seems like a risk to let an inexperienced director take on a film that will require ample special effects, but Nicolas-Troyan was the VFX supervisor on Snow White and the Huntsman and the first two Pirates of the Caribbean films.
The original epic fantasy (starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery) had our hero battling an unstoppable barbarian who covets the power gained from there being only one of near-immortal beings left alive. Lambert played the title immortal who was guided by Ramirez (Connery) and fought for centuries to become the last remaining immortal who will influence the future of mankind. The Highlander's final adversary was the barbarian Kurgan (Clancy Brown), who partake in an epic battle to settle this dispute. It's been popular in certain nerd sects, but isn't exactly well known.
Nicolas-Troyan was up against several unnamed, experienced directors, but Deadline says he is a "Comic-Con caliber fan" of the franchise, and worked his ass off to make sure he got the job:
"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. 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.”
Now we just have to see who will step up to play the title role. The director will do a quick pass of the script to make sure everything is in order to start casting and shooting sometime in 2014. As for Nicolas-Troyan's take on the project, “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.” Could this be a new franchise for Summit? We'll see