The Stochastic Game

Ramblings of General Geekery

Highlander Reboot Update

Some updates to the Highlander reboot have surfaced on io9 via Collider and, as a fan of the original movie1 and TV series, I’m carefully excited:

Anyone who knows anything about the property knows it has a lot of meat to it. It’s a good property. It’s got a lot of potential. We’re just trying to figure out the best way not to fuck it up.

I do indeed hope they don’t fuck it up. Of course, they need good historical flashbacks and proper sword-fight choreography and over-the-top music2 and all that, but there’s more to it.

To me, the key element of the Highlander franchise is that it’s a mix between vampires and battle royale:

  • From vampires it obviously takes the whole immortality thing, but it removes the almost obligatory “vampirism as sexual intercourse/harassement” sub-text. Immortals in Highlanders can represent whatever theme or metaphor you want, and from that angle they might be more similar to X-Men or something. It’s especially interesting given the fact that, in Highlander’s case, you can look at societal changes through the lens of century-spanning history.

  • From battle royale it takes the “there can be only one” goal, and turns it into a catchy slogan, even. But since the game is played over the course of centuries or more, there’s a lot more politics than pure combat and violence – another thing you often find in vampire stories too, by the way. It means that all the interesting themes of friendship and betrayal that are touched upon in Battle Royale or Hunger Games can be explored deeper here.

This is all a lot more conductive to a TV series than a bunch of movies in my opinion, so my guess is that it’s the form it will eventually take.


  2. I might not forgive them if they don’t use “Princes of the Universe” somewhere in there. I don’t want to hear anything about Queen’s soundtrack being cheesy or whatever, you’re just wrong, it’s totally awesome. My only regret is the omission of their “New York, New York” cover from the original movie soundtrack. ↩︎