By Jan Lopreste
I had the wonderful opportunity to catch up with Mr. Bill Panzer, from
one of Davis Panzer Production's "countless editing rooms" for a
short conversation regarding the upcoming release of Highlander - Endgame.
He was in good spirits due to the fact that the trailer for the film was,
in his words, "Out there, airing on Scary Movie and on X-Men."
He mentioned that he had, literally, *just* finished a call with
Christopher Lambert and that everyone was very excited at this point.
I asked Mr. Panzer to confirm the fact that the original story for the
film had been written by himself and Gillian Horvath. He chuckled, and
said that it had, but due to Writer's Guild regulations, "which
always exist", that the actual matter of credit was in arbitration.
This is something he is quite familiar with, and used to. Joel Soisson
wrote the script and Mr. Panzer is quite pleased with it.
When asked if the script stayed true to the original story concept, he
responded, "In terms of the core of the story ~ what the story is
about ~ it is very true!"
"But it took a long time to get?" I asked.
"It's actually fairly recent. Well, in Highlander terms! About a
year. For a few years we kind of explored other things, other writers who
were trying to do something sort of Highlander specific in terms of the
legend, but this script evolved just 'recently'" (in Highlander terms
We agreed that there was no point in him telling me the actual story,
but I did comment on innuendo and rumors floating around regarding
Connor's ultimate fate. Mr. Panzer responded with a devilish laugh,
"Well, as you know....there can *BE* only one!" I reminded him
that he was a tease, which he graciously acknowledged. We both laughed out
"Tell me about actually getting the film made ~ the joys and
heartaches, etc" I asked.
"Well, Miramax is a great company, but they are not exactly
hard-core Highlander fans." BP laughed. "And they tend more
towards movies that are modern, urban and aimed at young males. We are
modern, we are somewhat urban, and, well we ARE young but we are also
flashbacks, and we reach a far greater audience in terms of age and
gender. And this was a source of great controversy because that's not
really the kind of film they are used to doing. But people will see that
we have some pretty fun flashbacks."
"Did you teach them a thing or two?" I quipped.
"Well, we'll see." He said. "Depends on whether or not
you all come out to see it."
"Oh, we will BE there...in force!" I exclaimed.
"That's what's gonna teach them a thing or two!" He laughed.
When asked what filming in Romania was like, Mr. Panzer responded that
the people were lovely and "very helpful" but the setting and
conditions were rough. They went through some heartache and headaches,
even some illnesses. They spent about 4 months in Romania. He said that
getting used to the food took some doing. But, they soon found an Italian
restaurant close to where they were filming that quickly became a favorite
spot. "I ate there twenty-one straight days!" He exclaimed. I
commented that Adrian must have been happy, having once stated that he
could probably live on pasta for three meals a day!
Filming for the movie lasted roughly 7 weeks in Romania and also took
place in Luxembourg, England, Scotland and in New York City for "a
bit around Christmas." I commented that they had been busy on this
for quite some time.
"We have been busy. The film that would not die!" He laughed.
Hey, Mr. Panzer? We happen to *like* "immortal" films. <g>
Music for the film was composed by Nick Glennie-Smith who, according to
Mr. Panzer, "lives in one of those Mid-Atlantic States. Maybe even
West Virginia!" I told him I would look the fellow up.
"Will the music be indicative to what we are familiar with from
the wonderful things that Roger Bellon has given us?" I asked.
"Oh, you know..." he paused, "I think every composer has
their own unique outlook on that Celtic signature, but we have some modern
music and some rock&roll and we'll surprise you a couple of time, I
hope." I told him that we like surprises.
At this point Mr. Panzer needed to end our conversation and get back to
work. I closed with my promise to have all of you fans there in force on
Labor Day weekend, and that we would do everything in our power to
"keep the legend alive!"