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From "Highlander 2" on Wikipedia:

On the planet Zeist, a last meeting is held between the members of a rebellion against the rule of General Katana. The rebellion’s leader, Ramirez, chooses "a man of great destiny" from among them — Connor — to carry out a mission against Katana. At this moment, Katana and his troops attack, crushing the rebellion. Katana orders his men to capture Ramirez and Connor alive, and kill the rest of the rebels. The two captives are put on trial by Zeist’s priests, who sentence them to be exiled and reborn on Earth in pursuit of "The Prize." Winning the Prize gives the victor the choice to either grow old and die on Earth, or to return to Zeist. It is worth noting that alternate cuts of the film have these events transpire in Earth's distant past rather than on Zeist. Katana is unsatisfied with their decision, but the sentence is executed, leading to the events of the original 1986 film.

What exactly is the story behind this "alternate cuts" - which are at least somewhat conforming to the first "Highlander" movie - vs. the Zeist storyline which clearly contradicts it? Why was the universally-hated-by-fans Zeist version chosen?

I'm fine with an out-of-universe answer, but it must be based on sources related to the franchise (and especially H2 movie), not mere speculations/guesses.

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    Is there a badge for asking questions about movies that don't exist? Nov 16 '12 at 17:36
  • @Ward - well, we can ask questions about hobbits, Xenomorphs and Basilisks. I don't think a non-existant movie is that far out :) Nov 16 '12 at 18:09
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On the Highlander Wikia it is noted that:

In the renegade version, a documentary following the film has the filmmakers explain why the original theatrical release contradicted the first film. According to them, the inflation in Argentina had risen so high during filming that the film's insurance company started to take creative control, and made a film they thought would make the most money.

...with the renegade version meaning the "ancient Earth origin" one. The mentioned documentary is called "Highlander 2: Seduced by Argentina".

The dramatic inflation was actually culminating in 1989 (see this Wikipedia article on riots in Argentina due to inflation). This should match up with the period in which the movie was shot although I can't find a specific information on that.

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  • Could you please add a bit more meat to this? E.g correllation between the movie production timeline and Argentine crisis? (especially since the MAIN crisis - default - occurred in 2001, well past the movie release) Nov 16 '12 at 14:14
  • I added the reference to the crisis to the answer. However I can't find information on when the film actually was shot.
    – C. Tomm
    Nov 16 '12 at 14:33
  • (1) take a year or two off from when it was released (the latter is on Wikia) as a rough approximation. (2) Also, frequently IMDB or Wikipedia pages for a movie have details on production schedules. Nov 16 '12 at 17:25
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According to director Russell Mulcahy:

“I don’t really blame the writers. It’s just that the whole script was never completely filmed because of the financial problems. A lot of the ideas and stories were never shot, so the film is a bit of a patchwork. The bond company shut us down and brought in a butcher editor, and the film that was released just wasn’t finished. The first one I’m very proud of, but the second one I’m not, although it’s got some good moments.”

Empire, Highlander: a history

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    I've added a source for your quote, though it may not be the correct one. In the future please provide a source for quotes.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jul 20 '18 at 13:48

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