Another day, another bit of news coming out of Cannes, another Hollywood remake – the life of a film journalist sure is a bag full of surprises, isn’t it?
The 80s were a grand period for action and martial arts, and one of the most pivotal players in the action genre was none other than Jean Claude Van-Damme, but unfortunately it looks like one of his most iconic turns is going to be remade without his Brussels-influenced badassery. While searching for financing at Cannes, producer Brian O’Shea revealed that 1989’s Kickboxer will be remade by a foreign filmmaker, a young stuntman and a duo of WWE/UFC stars.
According to O’Shea:
““We have a visionary director, a strong Hollywood producer, great cast and an action-packed script based on a well-known property,” producer Brian O’Shea told THR. “What more can you ask for?”
That visionary director is China’s Stephen Fung, director of Tai Chai Zero (2012) and Tai Chi Hero (2012) – a name domestic audiences probably aren’t familiar with. In similar fashion, stuntman Alain Moussi will be playing Van-Damme’s leading role after beating beaten senseless in recent blockbuster hits like X-Men: Days of Future Past, Pacific Rim and White House Down. Kickboxer will be Moussi’s first real leading effort, hoping to explode as Jean Claude Van-Damme once did.
Also providing their talents are two now familiar faces after transitioning from mainstream fighting backgrounds into the wilds of Hollywood – breaking out in their own Marvel roles. The WWE’s Dave Bautista and former UFC legend Georges St. Pierre will *probably* be squaring off against Moussi as the film’s villains, but not before cementing possible comic book legacies. While fans won’t see Bautista as Drax in Guardians Of The Galaxy until August 1st, you might remember that St. Pierre played Batroc in Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier. Both are proven fighters, with St. Pierre sporting more of a martial arts background, but I’m sure Bautista’s massive stature will compensate for more brutish fighting styles.
Kickboxer isn’t exactly a complicated film, following a martial artist who travels to Thailand looking for his brother – unfortunately he’s discovered dead, and thus a journey of butt-kicking proportions begins. Does that story really beg an updated adaptation? Why not just create your own story of revenge, weave your own sweet twist, and make a completely stand-alone movie? Oh, that’s right – remakes sell, and why not exploit a fanbase when you can?
So what do you think – should Jean Claude Van-Damme want to kick some ass after hearing this news, or is Kickboxer in good hands?