Highlander (franchise)

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Highlander is a film and television franchise that began with a 1986 fantasy movie starring Christopher Lambert, who plays Connor MacLeod, the Highlander. Born in Glenfinnan, in the Scottish Highlands in the 16th century, MacLeod is one of a number of Immortals. Over the years, there have been five Highlander movies, two television series, an animated series, an animated movie, an animated flash-movie series, ten original novels, seventeen comic book issues, and various licensed merchandise.

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Films

Highlander

The first of what became a series of films, Highlander, directed by Russell Mulcahy, was released on March 7, 1986, with the tagline "There Can Be Only One." The film features a number of flashback scenes establishing Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod's early history, and builds up to his final destiny amongst the last of the mysterious Immortals. Through a mentor and fellow Immortal — Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez, played by Sean Connery — he learns of the existence of other Immortals, who occur spontaneously throughout history. An Immortal can die only after being beheaded, and Immortals battle one another in ritual single combat to the death, until the "Gathering," when the few remaining Immortals will fight until only one remains to take "The Prize". The Gathering occurs in modern-day (1985) New York City, when the Highlander, who has fallen in love again despite trying to cut himself off from humanity, narrowly defeats his powerful and evil enemy, The Kurgan, whom he has encountered repeatedly over the previous centuries, and who has slain Ramírez and many others. The movie was originally titled Shadow Clan in the earliest drafts of the film. Upon its release, the film was not a financial success and was panned by critics. However, it gained a strong cult following, was a hit internationally, and is regarded by many as the best movie in the series.

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