Jean Claude Van Damme’s slate of upcoming projects should keep him busy for the rest of 2017 and beyond…
It’s over 30 years since Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Bloodsport hit the screen and while Jean-Claude has never made an official sequel to that movie, he did revisit the world of the underground tournament with his directorial debut The Quest (which saw longtime friend Peter Malota working on the choreography and playing one of the fighters). While there’s been talk of an official Bloodsport reboot, there were the official Bloodsport 2, 3 and 4 in which we saw saw former model turned martial arts hero Daniel Bernhardt (most recently seen in John Wick) playing the unrelated lead, drawn repeatedly into a world of underground fight clubs. The upcoming release of Kill ‘Em All, sees Van Damme and Bernhardt sharing the screen, while Malota steps behind the camera to make his feature-film directoral debut.
As well as Van Damme and Bernhardt, Kill ‘Em All features Peter Stormare (Prison Break), Kris Van Damme (Assassination Games) and Maria Conchita Alonso (Extreme Prejudice) in a tale best described as Die Hard meets The Usual Suspects and which is due to hit screens in June of this year.
The premise: After a massive shoot out, a mysterious stranger (Jean-Claude Van Damme) arrives at a local hospital on the brink of death… only for a heavily armed gang of killers storm the hospital intent on hunting him down. His nurse, the sole surviving witness to the incident, must face an FBI interrogation that unlocks a tale of international intrigue and revenge.
As mentioned, Kill ‘Em All (which shares the name but no relation to the 2013 potboiler shot in Thailand with Johnny Messner and Joe Lewis) will be the debut of veteran action and stunt coordinator Peter Malota. His filmography includes Furious and LA Streetfighters (with Simon & Phillip Rhee) as well as a number of previous projects with Van Damme including Double Impact (he’s the spur-wearing superkicker), Universal Soldier, Nowhere to Run, The Quest, Replicant, Inferno and The Order… as well as such projects as Honour with Russell Wong and The Perfect Weapon with Steven Seagal.
The Quest: Van Damme Vs Malota
We’re looking forward to this… and Malota seems to have assembled a solid cast to support Jean-Claude in the movie and the script did offer a distinct vibe, so here’s hoping.
But in the meantime, as we’ve reported on Impact earlier this year, Jean-Claude just wrapped on Black Water which sees him teaming with Dolph Lundgren once again, but this time they’re on the same side in what sounds like a blend of Escape Plan and Con Air, ( but set several fathoms beneath the sea on a CIA run prison operating on a submerged nuclear submarine, from a screenplay by Six Bullets scribe Chad Law).
Shooting is also about to start in the first full season of Amazon’s Jean-Claude Van Johnson series, the pilot of which debuted last year to universally good reviews. For those who’ve been hiding under a dojo, this is – of course – the series that follows the adventures on and off screen of a famous martial arts movie hero whom WE all know as Jean-Claude Van Damme, but who lives two very different lives. One in the spotlight… and one in the shadows where he operates as an undercover private contractor named Jean-Claude Van Johnson, battling the forces of evil, his frustration at getting older and tries to rekindle the fire he once shared with his handler. Amazon will be producing a six episode first season with Keanu and Last Man on Earth director Peter Atencio at the helm.
Jean-Claude will also be seen in Kickboxer: Retaliation, the second of the Alain Moussi Kickboxer reboots, returning as Master Durant for a second adventure alongside Highlander‘s Christopher Lambert and Mike Tyson.