He’s on something of a creative roll, but two key roles are opening up to make 2017 a busy time for Jean Claude Van Damme…
Impact‘s original cover star Jean-Claude Van Damme looks set to have a busy 2017 ahead of him. 2016 saw him shooting the self-aware reverential action comedy pilot Jean-Claude Van Johnson for Amazon (which will go to full series next year), and Kill ‘Em All, a slick thriller that re-united him with longtime friend Peter Malota (Double Impact) as director. In addition to the JCVJ series, Van Damme will be headlining Black Water.
Written by Chad Law (Daylight’s End, Close Range) from a story by Tyler W. Konney and Richard Switzer, the film follows a deep cover operative who wakes up one day imprisoned in a CIA black site, and must try to escape. But in addition to having to work out how to bust out of the hi-tech prison, there’s one more problem: it operates far below the waves within the confines of a nuclear submarine.
Riffing on elements of Luc Besson’s Lock Out , the Stallone/Schwarzenegger movie Escape Plan and perhaps even a bit of Face/Off (the hi-tech prison located on an oil rig), the plot offers all kind of potential for action and Chad Law has never let us down yet. With Van Damme currently in fine form we look forward to seeing who else will be joining the project.
Now we also hear rumours that 2017 might finally see the release of the long delayed second directorial outing from Jean-Claude: The Eagle Path. Having made his directorial debut with The Quest (which revisited the secret martial arts tournament a la Enter the Dragon and Bloodsport) Van Damme’s second film as a director is a very different movie. It’s more of a Johnnie To-meets-John Cassavetes dramatic thriller that’s a very personal project for the big man… as he wrote, directed, and produced the project which began life as Full Love. The movie follows a former soldier suffering from PTSD who becomes obsessed with a woman he encounters in the Far East. He risks his life and that of his friends to try and help her. It’s a very different Van Damme movie, and while it premiered in an earlier rough version at Cannes several years ago to mixed reactions, there has been extensive re-editing and some re-shoots to expand upon and clarify certains story-points. It has also been re-titled as Soldiers …but we have a feeling Van Damme would like to return to the Full Love title,.