Heads Rolling on Animated Highlander

Despite the famous line "There can be only one," the 1986 cult hit, Highlander, has spawned three sequels, a made-for-television feature, two live-action syndicated television series, a video game and a Saturday morning cartoon show animated by Gaumont Animation. Now Daily Variety reports that the exploits of immortal swordfighters are set to play out in an animated feature slated for release in spring 2006.

The Highlander toon feature is being developed by Davis-Panzer Prods., the company behind the live-action features and series, and Imagi Intl., which provided primary animation for DreamWorks’ NBC series, Father of the Pride. Animation will be handled by Japan’s Madhouse, which animated Satoshi Kon’s Millennium Actress and Tokyo Godfathers, among others. Kevin Eastman (Heavy Metal 2000) and Joe Pearson will supervise production.

Producers Peter Davis and William Panzer are keeping it in the family, tapping Highlander: The Series head writer David Abramowitz to craft the the screenplay.

In the original Highlander motion picture, Christopher Lambert (Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan) starred as Conner MacLeod, 400 year-old Scot battling other immortals in a bid to become the last of his kind. On TV, Scottish actor Adrian Paul took over the reins as cousin Duncan MacLeod in 1992. Both thespians appeared together in the 2000 theatrical feature, Highlander: Endgame, the fourth installment in the franchise. Dimension Films will release a fifth live-action film titled Highlander: The Source in 2005.