Dave Bautista Cast as The Kurgan in the Highlander Reboot

By  · Published on February 12th, 2015

Dave Bautista as Drax

Marvel Studios

There can no longer be only one. While Clancy Brown will remain the true Kurgan in many memories for eternity, his villainous role in Highlander is about to be refilled by another actor. Latino Review reports that Guardians of the Galaxy’s Dave Bautista has been cast in the remake, in which he’ll go up against the as-yet-unknown star who’ll play immortal hero Connor MacCleod.

Bautista broke out as a reluctant and unlikely hero in last year’s Marvel blockbuster, but he continues to be typecast as obvious baddies. It does make sense that he’ll be a Bond henchman in the upcoming 007 installment, SPECTRE, and now he does seem suited for a part where he’ll be barbaric warrior in the Middle Ages who later becomes a street punk in modern day New York City. He’s shown he looks good with a bald head, too, if the rebooters are going that faithful.

The former WWE wrestler looks like a scoundrel, which is what makes his Drax in Guardians all the more amusing. It’s also why it might be nice to eventually see him play the MacCleod equivalent one of these days, rather than the Kurgan. And as the Kurgan, he may in fact be too much of a tough-looking badass. Brown’s version is more creep than brute. Bautista has mainly been muscle on the big screen, and so it’s going to be interesting to see him go full wicked.

Highlander the remakening has been scripted by Iron Man’s Matt Holloway and Art Marcum followed by Twilight franchise adapter Melissa Rosenberg and then Highlander TV franchise writer David Abramowitz. In the director’s chair is visual effects artist Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, who was to make this his feature debut but he could now helm the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel, The Huntsman, first.

For fans attached to the original, it’s time to face the fact that this property is still puttering through, past the point of being able to burn out yet still not exactly fading away, either. One thing’s for sure, or at least I have hope in this matter, it’s going to be difficult for the remake to be the worst thing that’s happened to the franchise.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.