If you’re looking forward to catching martial arts action star, actor Michael Jai White back in his big screen element, you needn’t look further than the upcoming release of the new international action thriller, Skin Trade which arrives this weekend in theaters from Magnet Releasing. White has been busy on a promotional tour for the film as of late, and in some instances, including appearances with fellow action star Tony Jaa as the latter has since crossed over into Hollywood and other markets.
Not much had been known up until now if whether or not fans will see the two back in action together on screen, which is still an exciting thing to note considering the action they perform together is so exquisitely well done as one of the biggest highlights of the film, on top of their chemistry within the last few years as the two met up in Atlanta, Georgia where Jaa was filming Furious Seven. In the meantime, White is hitting the presses to promote Skin Trade with quite a few other blurbs, and primarily with acknowledgement toward fans’ expectations and hopes pertaining to previous film hits, namely the Black Dynamite, Blood And Bone and his 2011 directorial debut, Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown.
Alas, the folks over at Nuke The Fridge
got the updates and more in their own Q&A with a nod to the aforementioned titles beginning with talk of a Black Dynamite
sequel, from which the first centered on White
‘s 70’s blaxploitation-era caricature as he takes on a criminal conspiracy leading all the way to the White House. In summation, White
states that the live-action sequel’s script is complete and also reaffirms its 1970’s setting via western as previously discussed in the years since while no other details are offered.
The second inquiry went into the prospects of a sequel to the 2009 martial arts thriller, Blood And Bone. The first movie saw White in the role of an ex-con who infiltrates a criminal organization through its underground fight circuit to fulfill a friend’s dying wish. Writer Ben Ramsey had also been pushing for a sequel as well, as the film’s popularity has risen thanks in large part to subscription video, and there have even been mentions of crowdfunding it, and as a result, talks of a sequel have only been consistently building among the niche. In part, White stated to NTF that he was “fairly certain” that a sequel would be on the way because of this, and also gave a bit more insight as to what the film would entail in terms of presenting its protagonist apart from his “undercover” role in the first. “In Blood and Bone he was undercover.” he said. “You didn’t quite know what his plan was and it was kind of a mystery until it unfolded. I believe the action will be far better in the sequel.”
Aside from what White says, it’s fair to add that it’s going to take more than White’s voice to seal the deal. It’s been quite a journey for fans waiting to see what would come of this particular franchise, so for lack of a better way to put it, it’s all pretty much wait-and-see at this point.
With regard to Never Back Down 3
, White teased this a bit last August when posting a photo with actor Djimon Hounsou
who lended a supporting role to the 2008 film alongside lead actor Sean Faris. The 2011 sequel, saw the portrayal of White as an ex-con long since established as an MMA trainer to a group of young boys as two within the group prepare to face each other off in the titular underground MMA contest. As for the title he teased back then, that may be a different story, but the best news so far from this is that White
did, in fact, confirm he would return to direct as well as star, to which he added some more thoughts about how his character would progress.
“By the end of the second movie, you see that my character has gotten an invitation to get back into the ring and to compete for the MMA crown.”, he tells us. “So this is that character embarking on that challenge.”
White states he will be leaving for Thailand in three weeks, and also offered quite a tasty morsel on casting, stating in part, “…We’ve got some of the top ones but the ink’s not dry yet. Tony Jaa’s going to make an appearance and also Jeeja [Yanin] is going to be in it. Also I’ll be joined by Josh Barnett who is the most celebrated heavyweight MMA champion ever. There’ll be some fights between Josh and I.”
So there you have it. Three titles, all of which are cult favorites in their own right are on their way with further information needed to confirm. White‘s perpetual movement on these fronts has been a great thing for fans while it still takes a great bit of time for movies to get a green light. Things are tough for the industry, indeed, although support from the fanbase is always appreciated as much as it is a needed factor in the equation.
White is also poised to appear with actor “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in the upcoming thriller, Echo Effect later this year, with other titles forthcoming or otherwise developing. In the meantime, Skin Trade arrives this Friday!
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Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.