Somewhere in Jean-Claude Van Damme’s house, we like to imagine his mobile is practically throwing itself off tables as production companies try to reach him to discuss cameos in two separate remakes of his early films. First up, we have movement on Bloodsport, with V For Vendetta director James McTeigue now attached.
The 1988 version of Bloodsport, which helped launch the splits-loving fighter as an action star, found JCVD as an American Army officer whose ninja training comes in handy when competing in the underground Hong Kong tournament called the Kumite.
McTeigue’s take shoves the story into the 21st century, focusing on mercenaries who scrap in the equally unsafe art of Brazilian Vale Tudo, as employed by Donald Gibb’s Ray Jackson in the original. Writer Robert Mark Kamen has written the early draft from a story originally developed by Phillip Noyce when he was slated to direct, but now Craig Rosenberg is taking over to work alongside McTeigue.
Meanwhile in the blue corner, we have Kickboxer, with the 1989 film getting a fresh coat of cine-paint courtesy of Hong Kong director Stephen Fung, who won festival acclaim with Tai Chi Zero. In that one, Van Damme was Kurt Sloane, a man out to avenge his brother’s crippling injuries by stepping into the Thai kickboxing ring with a brutal fighter. Jim McGrath and Dimitri Logothetis are aboard to write the new script, but there’s no indication whether any changes will be made to the movie’s basic story.
Though the new projects are from different companies, they’re surely missing a trick if they don’t both find the same person to star, purely for novelty value. Feel free to suggest choices from today’s crop – or an unknown from the fighting circuits – in the comments or on the Twitter Machine…