The house that Twilight built has hired director Justin Lin and producer Neal H. Moritz to remake the Christopher Lambert VHS/cable TV staple Highlander, with the intention of launching a new franchise.
Variety reports Iron Man screenwriters Art Marcum and Matt Holloway are working on a script, so the remake may turn out to be decent. I've never been able to sit through any of the Highlander movies myself: There's something about the concept of an immortal Scottish swordsman I find just a wee bit boring.
The news is the latest nail in the coffin (at least to me) of the career of the talented Lin, who demonstrated great promise as a filmmaker before he sold his soul to the studios. I interviewed Lin in 2002 when his terrific Better Luck Tomorrow played at the Toronto Film Festival, and he talked excitedly about the kinds of stories he hoped to tell in future projects.
''It's not just about wanting to see three-dimensional Asian-American characters on the screen,'' Lin said back then. "I also want to see three-dimensional Latino characters and African-American characters and gay characters. I want to see three-dimensional people, period. The big studios are going to do what they're going to do, and that's fine. But I want to support movies that are independent and original and that take chances. That's the only thing I can do.''
Since then, Lin has directed two installments of the Fast and the Furious franchise and a glorified TV-movie (Annapolis). I guess youthful ambition doesn't stand a chance against a fat Hollywood paycheck.