I like Ryan Reynolds. He’s a very funny guy, a capable dramatic actor, and more often than not the best part of some godawful films. Even though last year’s Green Lantern was an unequivocal failure on nearly every level, Reynolds’ performance in the title role was solid enough to almost redeem the entire mess. However, I don’t think Reynolds should be a part of, or even anchoring, every genre movie property with endless potential. Some movies the guy just doesn’t seem to fit into.
Case in point: Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment’s reboot of the 1986 action-fantasy cult classic Highlander, which has been in development ever since Summit acquired the rights to the franchise from producers William Panzer and Peter Davis back in 2008. The project currently has Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) in the director’s chair with a script by Iron Man scribes Matt Holloway and Art Marcum and the Spanish filmmaker’s current top choice to be his sword-swingin’ Scottish immortal Connor MacLeod is none other than Ryan Reynolds.
The actor has long been attached to a movie based around another badass master swordsman beloved by geeks the world over: the Marvel Comics masked antihero Deadpool, who Reynolds (sort of) played in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The Deadpool flick unfortunately remains mired in Development Hell, leaving Reynolds open to taking on the lead in the new Highlander.
Released in 1986 the original Highlander wasn’t a hit at the box office but it’s enduring popularity on video and cable turned the film into a franchise that launched Christopher Lambert‘s career as a B-movie stalwart and spawned two sequels, a successful syndicated television series, two further sequels inspired by the TV show, and a short-lived animated series.
If Reynolds gets the part I’m sure he’ll nail the physical attributes that comes with it and bring oodles of charisma to the proceedings, but that doesn’t exactly make the most qualified candidate. There have been flashes of greatness in Reynolds’ past performances and he’s primed for a breakout role that will establish him as a name actor in the industry. Maybe Highlander will be the movie that does it.