Earlier this year, fans of the Kickboxer franchise were greeted with the news that Thai action star, Tony Jaa (Ong Bak) had signed on to appear in the sort-of anticipated remake. As exciting as the announcement was, alas a dreaded scheduling conflict arose and he has now dropped out of the project. But don’t worry – the original Kickboxer, Jean-Claude Van Damme, has boarded the movie as his replacement!
Directed by John Stockwell, the retooled version will follow Alain Moussi (X-Men: Days of Future Past)’s leading man Kurt Sloan – “a talented martial artist who travels to Thailand where he must learn the secrets of the kickboxer to avenge his brother’s death at the hands of Tong Po.” Moussi will be facing up against WWE-star Dave Bautista (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as his deadly adversary, Po.
In the eighties pic, Van Damme tackled the role of Sloan in one of the flicks that set him on the road to action stardom. This time around, he’s not harbouring any delusions of youth. Switching out his earlier role for the part of mentor, Master Chow, Van Damme will offer advice and training to young Moussi much like Dennis Chan gave to him in the 1989 original. It’s a way for the returning star to be involved without it being a silly part that’s elbowed in and makes no sense.
In a press statement, Ted Field of Radar Films, one of the producers on the project, spoke out about Van Damme rejoining the franchise:
“We are so excited to have Kickboxer roll into production and to have JCVD in the role of Master Chow, passing the torch to Alain, to have him lead the franchise to a new generation.”
We couldn’t have put it any better ourselves. So with production rolling out in New Orleans this week before shooting continues in Thailand, how long will we have to wait for a pic of JCVD on the Kickboxer set? Hopefully about a week. But that’s just our excitement talking.
What do you make of this tasty tidbit of info? Are you happy to see JCVD returning to the fold? Let us know dear readers, in the comments below.