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Highlander: The Source

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Highlander: The Source
Highlander 5 poster
Lead(s) Duncan MacLeod
Support Methos

Joe Dawson
Anna Teshemka
Cardinal Giovanni
Zai Jie
Reggie Weller
The Elder

Villain(s) The Guardian
Setting(s) Eastern Europe
Prequel Highlander: Endgame
Credits
Writer(s) Stephen Kelvin Watkins

Mark Bradley
Joel Soisson

Director(s) Brett Leonard
Producer(s) Adrian Paul

Peter S. Davis
William N. Panzer

Release Date September 15, 2007
Runtime 86 min. (Retail)

99 min. (Original)

Distributor Lions Gate Films
MPAA Rating R

Highlander: The Source depicts Duncan MacLeod as the final combatant in the Game. A group of Immortals on a quest to locate the mysterious "Source" in the near future. One member of the group, Zai Jie, breaks into a data tower in Eastern Europe and contacts his associates to give them the location of the Source.

Highlander: The Source is the first film in the franchise not to be released in American theatres; instead, it was shown on the Sci-Fi Channel on September 15, 2007.

Plot SynopsisEdit

A group of Immortals quest to locate the mysterious "Source" in the near future. One member of the group, Zai Jie, breaks into a communications tower in Eastern Europe and contacts his associates to give them the location of the Source. The Guardian of the Source, who has supernatural speed, confronts and decapitates him. Reggie, another group member, discovers that the planets are moving from their orbits into a cosmic alignment.

Former Immortal Watcher Joe Dawson is called by group member Methos to find their immutual friend Duncan MacLeod. Joe finds MacLeod in a fight with the Guardian, shoots Duncan, hauls him into a truck, and drives off. They rendezvous with the others at a monastery in order to meet with an ancient being known as the Elder so they can locate the Source.

DuncanTheSource
At the monastery, they meet Anna Teshemka, Duncan's mortal wife, who is having visions. The Elder meets them all as a group and tells of how, in ancient history, another group of Immortals sought the Source. Upon slaying the Guardian, the two survivors were cursed with decay, with one of them becoming the new Guardian, and the other being the Elder. The Elder tells them all to follow Anna who knows the way. She, in turn, receives a vision from the Elder. Meanwhile, the Guardian arrives and attacks Reggie and Joe Dawson on holy ground. In an effort to save Dawson, Duncan throws his katana at the Guardian, temporarily wounding him. The Guardian removes the sword from his neck and breaks it before killing Joe with the broken blade and escaping. After burying Joe, they leave to find the Source, which they have determined to be on an island in a lake in Eastern Europe.

Approaching the island, the boat's captain tells them that the "maniacs", gangs of cannibals, rule the island. After fighting locals who were poised to immolate a man to death, they obtain a van and drive to a deserted house a short distance away from where they believe the Source to be. That night, the Guardian kills Reggie by slashing him to death — the Elder had warned them that the closer they get to the Source, the weaker they would become, meaning that they would lose their immortality. Duncan has replaced his broken katana with a pair of butterfly swords. The group takes Reggie's body with them until they ultimately discover that he will not revive.

After burying Reggie, they continue on their way. They find the road blocked, and are captured by cannibals. While the cannibals are distracted by their drunken carousing, the Guardian frees Anna and forces her to accompany him to the Source. Later, Giovanni escapes and takes a sword, hoping to be "The One". Duncan frees himself and Methos, and sets off to rescue Anna. Giovanni gets recaptured, and Duncan goes in to save him. Methos arrives to assist Duncan at the last moment, and tells him he believes Duncan is "The One" due to his incorruptible nature. He rides off on a horse to distract the cannibals, allowing Duncan to chase after Anna. Giovanni, who had run off when Duncan came to his rescue, is decapitated by the Guardian.

Duncan finds Anna in a clearing by a sandy pit illuminated by starlight. The cosmic convergence is happening directly over them. The Guardian appears and challenges Duncan. Macleod finds that he now has the same speed and power as the Guardian, and manages to get past the foe to reach Anna. However, an energy barrier appears to bar his way. After continued fighting, the Guardian ends up buried chest deep in the dirt. Bound and defeated, the Guardian demands that Macleod behead him. Duncan refuses, and the Guardian vanishes in a blast of light. Before he goes, the Guardian screams that he is "cursed forever". Duncan enters the Source, qualified to do so by his pure heart. In the Source, Anna reveals that she is pregnant with their child. Duncan declares that "he is the one", meaning the child.

Alternate EndingEdit

Once the Guardian vanishes, in the Russian cut Duncan takes off into the sky following Anna, before we see the two in the Source, and Anna announcing that she is pregnant, after which the movie ends. In the US cut, after the Guardian is vanquished there is a montage and another narration from Anna, who explains that the rationale for the Immortals' Game was in fact a misconception all along, and that "there can be only one" really means that only the most pure-hearted of all Immortals could claim the Source. By comparison, the Russian cut has Duncan and Methos (who, of course, survived in the end) expressing their doubts about the Game, but never explicitly invalidates it in the same way the US cut does.

CastEdit

Actor Role
Adrian Paul Duncan MacLeod
Jim Byrnes Joe Dawson
Peter Wingfield Methos
Thelka Reuten Anna Teshemka
Cristian Solimeno The Guardian
Stephen Rhaman Hughs Zai Jie
Stephen Wright Reggie Weller
Thom Fell Cardinal Giovanni
Patrice Naiambana The Elder


Background Information and NotesEdit

As early as 2001, producers of the previous film in the franchise, Highlander: Endgame, were discussing plans for a fifth film with fans at conventions.[1] Russell Mulcahy was attached to direct the film early in development. Mulcahy disagreed with Peter S. Davis and William N. Panzer on the direction of the story, as he wanted it to be a prequel focusing around the first-ever generation of immortals, thousands of years before the original Highlander, with Adrian Paul only appearing as Duncan MacLeod in a framing story. On the other hand, Panzer and Davis wanted to follow up Highlander: Endgame and have Duncan appear throughout the whole film. Eventually, Mulcahy left the production, feeling that a repeat of the events that resulted in the critical and commercial failure of Highlander II: The Quickening was about to happen.Highlander: The Source began at Dimension Films under a number of different screenwriters, including Joel Soisson and Peter Briggs, with production scheduled to begin in Lithuania in late 2005. Joel Soisson's version of the script featured Duncan MacLeod living in a gas station in the middle of the desert, next to a run-down airplane. Also in the script, MacLeod smoked, wore cowboy boots and a hat, and had a pet monkey named Connor. Peter Briggs wrote a version of the script while the project was still at Miramax. Before writing the script, Briggs re-watched all the "Highlander" movies as well as the TV series, then joined the official Highlander message boards (www.highlander-community.com) and researched what fans wanted in a sequel. He kept his identity secret, but was known to be an insider on the project. He soon became one of the most popular and respected members of the board, and remained so even after he was kicked off the project. He revealed his identity well after he was kicked off the project. It was the death of a close friend on the forum, named Eric, that sparked Briggs to finally reveal himself. Dimension Pictures originally intended to film this movie in Africa. Several early drafts are explicitly set in Africa. It was finally filmed in Lithuania around Vilnius. In July 2005, Lionsgate Films acquired the rights to the film under the title Highlander: The Journey Continues, with director Brett Leonard at the helm as director, and actor Adrian Paul in the lead role as Duncan MacLeod. Leonard described the franchise: "Highlander is an amazing ongoing story that I can bring my visual style to. Everything I have done has led me to this kind of mythical fantasy."[2] Filming began in October 2005,[3] and concluded the following December. In June 2006, Adrian Paul revealed that Highlander: The Source had been undergoing editing and visual effects work. The actor said that composer George Kallis had been brought on board to create a film score that was recorded by an 80-piece orchestra.[4]

Lionsgate had originally planned to release the film in 2006.[5] When that plan failed to work out, several release dates were listed in various places; for example, February 2007 was listed in some official The Source auctions, as well as on actress Thekla Reuten's own website, and March 2007 was listed on composer George Kallis' website. Eventually, even the official auctions began using simply a broad "First Quarter 2007" release date. As of February 14, 2007, producers Peter Davis and William Panzer of Davis/Panzer Productions, in conjunction with Lionsgate Entertainment, were editing and remixing the film.

Lionsgate finally released the film as a direct-to-TV movie, which premiered on the Sci-Fi Channel on September 15, 2007. Screenwriter Joel Soisson ultimately won a Writers Guild of America screenplay-credit arbitration, and was listed in the final U.S. release's end credits under the pseudonym of "Mark Bradley." Plans to continue the films with The Source being the first of a trilogy have since been abandoned, as Peter Davis has recently sold rights for a remake of the original film to Summit Entertainment. This company announced on May 20, 2008 that they are planning to make a new version of the 1986 film Highlander. Writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, who both worked on the Iron Man film will be writing the script. Peter Davis will produce the new film.[6]

ContinuityEdit

Upon release it was condemned as the "worst Highlander property of all time," and declared as not being part of the continuity that constituted Duncan MacLeod's adventures. The first season of audio plays by Big Finish declared the stories themselves were set between Highlander: Endgame and this film. So, while there has been great willingness from the fandom to condone the story as unofficial, the property itself (probably due to the film's failure at almost every regard) has not sanctioned any such story that contradicted that of this film.

DVD & Other ReleasesEdit

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