georges st pierre
It was back in July in 2013 that two memorable action classics starring legendary superstar Jean Claude Van Damme, Bloodsport and Kickboxer were each finally announced to be remade with their own directors, with the latter to be helmed by Tai Chi 0 director, multifaceted actor and producer Stephen Fung. On Monday, almost a year later, official news finally confirmed from Cannes announcing actor, stuntman and martial artist Alain Moussi (pictured left) will be taking the lead in Fung‘s new film.
The actor most recently did stuntwork on Camille Delamarre’s directorial debut remaking the 2004 action thriller, District B13 in last month’s release of Brick Mansions, in addition to working on films such as Guillermo Del Toro’s 2013 techno monster thriller Pacific Rim, and the upcoming release of filmmaker David Hayter’s own directorial debut, Wolves with Lucas Till and Jason Momoa. Monday’s report also confirmed what may be expected as the official synopsis of the remake:
Kickboxer tells the story of David and Kurt Sloan, the descendants of a well-known Venice, Calif., fighting dynasty. When David wins the Karate World Championship, a promoter lures him to Hong Kong, despite his brother’s protestations that the man is a crook. When Kurt travels to Thailand to meet his brother, he discovers he has died, and seeks his revenge.
Fung‘s career has taken him on a journey over the years from acting to screenwriting, producing and directing films such as Tai Chi 0, Tai Chi Hero and the techno suspense thriller, Control with fellow film partner, actor Daniel Wu. In an interview with TimeOut Hong Kong back in March, Fung confirmed that Kickboxer will be an English-language remake of the original film and will also be set in Thailand, with the goal of getting “a larger Western appeal” with a more “brutal and mature” vision than his previous directorial work on Tai Chi 0 and Tai Chi Hero.
Interestingly enough, like with most martial arts fans, the original film, directed by Mark DiSalle remains a personal favorite for him, as per what inspired him to direct the film to begin with. “It’s a film that I really enjoyed watching when I was young.” he says. “Growing up in Hong Kong, you get exposed to a lot of martial arts films and we make a lot of good ones, so we have a pretty high standard. The movies that were coming in from Hollywood at that time were not very good, except Kickboxer, which was one of the good ones. Van Damme is a trained martial artist, so his moves look authentic in the film. We are not just going to do a direct remake. There has to be something of importance that warrants a remake. I hope it’s going to be a challenging experience.”
Also to boot, are the additions of The Man With The Iron Fists co-star and mixed martial artist Dave Bautista (above/left) who is set to star in the August release of Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, and actor and fellow mixed martial artist Georges St. Pierre (above/right), off the heels of portraying Batroc The Leaper opposite actor Chris Evans in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Further casting may be well on its way, with only speculation as to whether or not some fans may get their wish to see Van Damme in the film’s reimagining in one form or another.
As always with these things, time will tell. Stay tuned!
UPDATE: Read the official word from The Exchange:
Brian O’Shea, CEO of The Exchange, has announced a deal to sell the big budget reboot of the 1989 classic KICKBOXER. The Exchange will begin selling this action packed remake at this year Cannes market.
KICKBOXER will be directed by Chinese phenomenon Stephen Fung (TAI CHI ZERO, TAI CHI HERO) and produced hit maker Ted Field of Radar Pictures (RIDDICK Series, THE LAST SAMURAI). KICKBOXER will star UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER), and WWE superstar Dave Bautista (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.) The film will also be introducing Alain Moussi as its lead. Mr. Moussi is a world-renowned stunt man / martial artists, performing in such films as (X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, IMMORTALS, PACIFIC RIM, WHITEHOUSE DOWN). .”Alain is a star and will be an amazing leading man,” said Filed “Like Vin in RIDDICK, Alain will make this movie very special and this KICKBOXER reboot will be the start of an amazing franchise”.
Additional cast will be announced shortly.
David and Kurt Sloan are the descendants of a well-known Venice, California dynasty of champions. Both are top-notch fighters and athletes in the prime of their lives. When David wins the Karate World Championship, a promoter lures him to Hong Kong despite Kurt’s protests that the man is a crook. Not soon after, Kurt receives a letter from David and heads to Thailand to meet him. When he arrives, he discovers his brother is dead. The man responsible is the viscous Tong Po. Desperate to seek revenge, Kurt turns to Xian Chow, his brother’s former mentor. To defeat the man who killed his brother, Kurt must look within himself to find the strength and courage of a champion.
The film is also produced by Dimitri Logothetis and Nick Celozzi. Mike Weber and Peter Meyer will executive produce as well as Brian O’Shea, Jeff Bowler and Nat McCormick for the Exchange.
“I am very excited about KICKBOXER being in Cannes” said O’Shea, “we have a visionary director, a strong Hollywood producer, great cast and an action packed script based on a well known property – what more can you ask for?”