Henry Cavill has revealed how proud he has “always been of my Scottish heritage” and can’t wait to hear more about the Highlander reboot set next year.
The original 1986 Highlander film starred Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, and Clancy Brown as immortal beings, chasing each other. It spawned four sequels and three television series.
Now director Chad Stahelski is rebooting the franchise with Henry set to play the original role of Connor MacLeod’s Lambert.
While born and raised in Jersey, Henry, 38, can trace his Scottish ancestors back to his mother, Marianne Dalgliesh, whose last name is one of the actor’s first names.
He said: “I’ve always been proud of my Scottish heritage, but Highlander gave me an excuse to dig a little deeper into my roots.
“I read a lot about Scottish soldiers, battles and of course the history of the kilt.”
The Superman star is now a burning property with the hit of The Witcher on Netflix – the second series is currently the UK’s # 1 streaming show.
The Epic of Sword and Witchcraft showed what Henry can look like in the cult ’80s Highlander reboot.
And Henry, who is best known for playing Superman, which he has been playing since Man of Steel in 2013, announced that the new film, like the original, will use the Scottish landscape.
He said: “Filming will hopefully start next year and although the locations have not been confirmed I hope at least a good part will be filmed in Scotland.
“The TV series wasn’t, but the original filmed a lot of its scenes in the Highlands and it gave it a real sense of authenticity. Plus, an excuse to spend time in Scotland is never a bad thing.
In the original film, Eilean Donan’s Castle in Wester Ross also serves as Highlander Castle. Glen Etive was used for Connor’s first battle scene and, during a training montage between Connor and his immortal companion and mentor Juan Sánchez-Villalobos Ramírez, scenes were shot at Trotternish Ridge and the Cuillin Mountains on the Isle of Skye, the Torridon Hills and the Silver Sands of Morar, Mallaig.
In addition to Connery and Lambert, Clancy Brown played Connor’s nemesis, The Kurgan, who wants to win the award – gaining all the power of the immortals, hence the film’s slogan “In the end, he can’t there is only one “.
Henry, the fourth of five brothers, was a huge fan of the 80s film.
And he admitted, “There’s always a duty when you take on something so iconic to say you’ve always been a fan – but in my case it’s really true. I was a little boy – the movie was so 80s it was amazing and then I have fond memories of watching the tv show with my brothers.
For the actor, it’s another franchise with a big fanbase. Since his landmark role in Man of Steel, he has played Napoleon Solo in the film version of The Man from UNCLE, the villain in Mission: Impossible: Fallout and Sherlock Holmes in Netflix’s Enola Holmes starring Millie Bobby Brown.
There is also talk of finally getting him the role of Bond after losing to Daniel Craig for Casino Royale in 2006.
Fans were hoping Bond – who was half Scottish according to creator Ian Fleming – would follow Bond first Connery and be another Scotsman, with Outlander’s Sam Heughan or Richard Madden also in the running.
Henry has always been honest about his desire to win the role and recently said of the Bond race: “Time will tell. I would like to have a conversation.
“You don’t know which direction they want to take Bond so I like to say that everything is still on the table.”
He is certainly in a strong position to take on the role. Playing the role of Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher made him one of the biggest stars in the world.
It also means he can show off his ability to do action scenes, although for the second series – released on Netflix last week – he suffered a frightening injury that could have ended an action career.
Henry tore his hamstrings and, as the main star with a lot of fight scenes, it was a tough situation.
He said, “It was a pretty nasty tear, grade two B; B meaning it was the center of the hamstrings, grade 2 meaning worse and it would have been broken, and that means it is breaking away from the bone.
“And that would have been a real break in my acting career, if not the end.
“We had already done a fair bit of the action – there was still a fight scene coming up – and it was obvious I was standing the whole time, or walking or running, even though it wasn’t fighting.” . So it was a tough line to cross, to make sure I didn’t injure myself further and recover properly.
Based on a series of books written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, the epic drama takes place in the vast world of the Continent. Henry was adamant the Geralt of the books was seen on screen.
He said: “I campaigned really hard for it, I fought tooth and nail and wanted him to present himself as an intellectual, with a real sense of wisdom – he’s been around for over 70 years – and a soul and, beyond that, to also have three-dimensional male characters in the series.
Unlike Highlander’s Warring Immortals, the Witers – monster hunters for hire – are a brotherhood of friends and not just “cranky, old, and violent men who live in the mountains.”
Henry also hoped to portray “male vulnerability and that it’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength, in fact – a sign of a connection, if there is one.”