Someone needs to run through several centuries worth of storyline, decapitating people in swordfights, and Lionsgate wants it to be Ryan Reynolds. The actor is reportedly the top choice to lead the cast of the new version of Highlander, based on Russell Mulcahy’s 1986 film in which Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery were immortal warriors participating in an age-old contest for The Prize. Combatants even had a tagline for the deadly competition: “There can be only one.”

(Note, as others have in the past 20 years, the absurdity of that tagline helping spawn several film sequels and a TV series, and then move on.)

Variety says that Reynolds is entertaining other offers, but that his people and Lionsgate are in talks to make a Highlander deal happen. Whether there is a legit deal-making intent here, or this is representative of one side or the other using the press to try  to influence another deal remains to be seen.

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is set to direct the remake based on a script by Matt Holloway, Melissa Rosenberg, and Art Marcum. We don’t know how faithful the new version is to the ’86 film, and this is the first big casting news that has emerged.

Meanwhile, Reynolds still has possible Deadpool and Green Lantern films in the offing, though the latter seems like a long shot and Deadpool has been taking a long time to wind through the development halls at Fox. Reynolds has also shot RIPD, opposite Jeff Bridges; that will be released on June 28, 2013.

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