After years of speculation, a reboot of 80s cult classic Highlander is finally on the way, with The Witcher and Man of Steel actor Henry Cavill to star in the lead role.

In November, Joe Drake, outgoing chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, listed the reboot among the film production studio’s 2026 “tentpole” releases.

Things have since moved forward this week, with John Wick franchise director Chad Stahelski signing a major deal with Lionsgate to helm Highlander as his next feature.

Considered a guilty pleasure of 80s cinema, the time-shifting 1986 movie was shot by Australian rock music video director Russell Mulcahy and starred French actor Christopher Lambert as 16th-century clansman Connor MacLeod and Sean Connery as his Egyptian mentor Ramírez.

Chronicling the climax of an age-old war between immortal warriors, scenes were shot at various locations in Scotland, including Eilean Donan Castle, Glen Coe, Glen Nevis, Loch Shiel, Torridon and Skye. Other filming took place in London, New York and Wales.

READ MORE: Highlander villain Clancy Brown on the much-loved 80s movie

Highlander was a box office flop on its initial U.S. release before later achieving a slow-burn global success in the emergent video and DVD market. 

The fantasy epic, which spawned four sequels and three TV series, continues to exert an enduring appeal with movie lovers, and was digitally restored for a 30th anniversary re-release in cinemas and on DVD in 2016. 

Speaking after finalising a deal for John Wick director Chad Stahelski to helm the reboot, Joe Drake and Adam Fogelson of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group said: “This deal expands on the great creative relationship we already have in place on John Wick and extends it to our Highlander franchise. 

“From the outset, Chad has been the creative force defining the world of Wick; as we continue to think about the future for that world, we want Chad, working together with Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee of Thunder Road, as our stewards guiding us and strategizing together at every step. 

“This deal makes it official, and we look forward to his steady hand and creative input not just on the film he is making, but other stories that arise from it. He is a true visionary, and we are thrilled to have him in our corner.”

Stahelski, who spent the beginning of his career as Keanu Reeves’ stunt double, created and directed all four John Wick movies, including last year’s John Wick Chapter 4 - which grossed more than £350 million worldwide.

He added: “I am pleased to be able to grow my relationship with Lionsgate in this new oversight role for the John Wick universe and its further expansion. John Wick is so close to my heart and to be able to continue shepherding it will be a blast for me. 

“I’m so happy to also be launching another franchise with Highlander, a world that is so rich with engaging stories to be told.”

It’s thought the Highlander remake, which is rumoured to have a budget north of $100 million, will focus more on Connor MacLeod’s life in 16th century Scotland. 

Speaking back in August, Stahelski suggested the reboot could be the start of a major franchise.

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He said: “I think we have some very good elements now. The trick is when you have the tagline ‘there can only be one’, you can’t just kill everybody the first time.

“Our story engages a lot of the same characters and stuff like that. But we’ve also brought in elements of all the TV shows, and we’re trying to do a bit of a prequel, a setup to The Gathering, so we have room to grow the property.”

Henry Cavill confirmed he was attached to the reboot back in 2021, and revealed that had been “dipping into” his Scottish heritage and getting his “base line research” underway.

Posting on his Instagram account, he wrote: “I've been a fan of Highlander since I was lad. From the movies in all of their 80s, Queen slathered glory to the TV show with an actor who looked remarkably like one of my brothers.

“Being not shy with swords, and having a director as talented as Chad Stahelski at the helm, this is an opportunity like no other. Deep diving into franchise storytelling with all the tools at our disposal, is going to make this an adventure I (and hopefully all of you) shall never forget.”