Highlander reboot loses director

Bad timing has caused Justin Lin to step down from the helm of relaunching the popular fantasy franchise.

Summit’s remake of the original Highlander film, a property which spawned a huge franchise including a long-running television series, has been in development hell for over three years with only one name tied solidly to it: Director Justin Lin. This week, Summit decided – likely because their Twilight franchise is coming to an end – that production on Highlander needed to move into the next phase. 

This comes at a bad time for Lin who has already agreed to direct the next Fast and Furious film (as if we need another) and is currently in talks to direct the Terminator reboot. This is all too much for the up and coming director, so he’s chosen to step down from the helm of Highlander, though he will stay on as a producer.

Summit appears to be looking immediately for a new director, so don’t be surprised if we find out very soon who the new helmer is going to be. They need a director before casting can begin, and they need the cast before a final rewrite of the script can be finished.

For his own part, Lin seems to regret the bad timing, but is excited that he’s getting so much help and attention, especially regarding the Terminator film.

“I don’t know where it’s going to lead, but I never thought at this level [I would] be able to meet filmmakers and be in situations where they’re that gracious and insightful and so inclusive,” he told IndieWire, referencing a meeting with Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron.

“And that’s a franchise that I’m working on right now, but again, if I’m going to be kind of the gatekeeper to it, I want to make sure that I can, hopefully, build it up the right way – and, so far, that’s been the most fun. Just to be able to [pick] James Cameron’s brain and for him to be so open even though he has no stakes in it, just as a human being, that’s something that I will always remember as a part of my journey as a filmmaker.”

The new Highlander film from Summit Entertainment does not yet have a release date.