The shoot for Kickboxer: Vengeance has resumed in Thailand, some months after completing its New Orleans shoot. A reboot of one of Jean-Claude Van Damme's original classic breakout hits Kickboxer, the new film sees Alain Moussi playing the role of Kurt Sloane, a young kickboxer who must walk the road of vengeance following the brutal death of his brother Eric at the hands of the villainous Tong Po (Dave Bautista). Kurt must seek spiritual and martial arts guidance from the mysterious Master Durrand (Jean-Claude Van Damme), a great fighter who has turned his back on the world.
The film was originally announced with Tai Chi Hero director Stephen Fung at the helm and a potential cast that would include Tony Jaa as Master Xian and Scott Adkins as the ill-fated Eric, but by the time shooting began, Fung had been replaced by Into the Blue director John Stockwell, the late great Darren Shahlavi had assumed the mantle of Eric, Guardian's of the Galaxy and Spectre star Dave Bautista was playing Tong Po and Haywire's Gina Carano had joined the cast (as a manipulative fight promoter who lures Eric to fight in Thailand). UFC legend George St Pierre came onboard as Kavi.Thai actress, Sarah Malakul Lane was playing the female lead and original star Jean-Claude Van Damme had joined the film as Kurt's mentor, the mysterious Durand. Undisputed 3 fight choreographer Larnell Stovall handling the action.
Unfortunately the New Orleans shoot ended with some controversy, as certain crew members were apparently left unpaid for some time, although it was eventually resolved.
With the move to Thailand there appears to have been some more changes to the crew - with reports reaching us that the film is now being directed by Jean-Claude Van Damme himself and producer Dimitri Logothesis and original choreographer Stovall is no longer on the project. The original Tong Po, Michel Qissi, was spotted on set.
Here's hoping the reboot will triumph over these well-documented trials and tribulations and deliver on the potential of all involved. It's worth pointing out to long-term fans that the film isn't a frame for frame remake of the original, more taking certain cues from that outing with characters having been changed in some regards while staying true to the tone of the original.