If there’s one thing you can count on in the world of video games it’s that if something is successful, there will be copies. With the massive success of Street Fighter II, it was no surprise the market was flooded with fighting games, each with their own unique additions to help differentiate them from their competitors. For Mortal Kombat it was the gore and fatalities, Virtua Fighter took fighting games into 3D, and for DOA: Dead Or Alive, it was a blisteringly fast fighting engine and boobs. So many boobs.
It’s been seventeen years since director Wych Kaosayananda’s Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever put him on the radar for many a filmgoer for several reasons. For someone pennamed Kaos for the film’s marketing, I totally expected Wych to stick around and blow minds. Of course, that was how my fanboy brain worked at the time.
Zero Tolerance is a high-octane action-packed revenge thriller starring a host of the brightest martial arts action movie stars on the planet; including Scott Adkins (The Expendables 2, the Undisputed Franchise, the Ninja franchise), acclaimed international action star Dustin Nguyen (Once Upon A Time In Vietnam, Rapid Fire, 21 Jump Street), Kane Kosugi (Ninja: Shadow of a Tear, DOA: Dead or Alive, War) and real life martial arts champion and action movie veteran Gary Daniels (The Expendables, Tekken, Fist Of The NorthStar).
Filmmaker Wych Kaosayananda is a clear case study in resilience. His big break into Hollywood with the 2002 action thriller, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, didn’t pan out the way he hoped for a number of reasons. And before most of us knew it, despite the many studio offers he received, Kaosayananda diverged away from Hollywood for a really long time, which is probably why you might be wondering just what happened after all this time.
It was made public last week that Crystal Sky and Lionsgate began working on a prequel to the 2010 film, Tekken, based on Namco’s live-action tournament fighting game franchise. Announced at the time via martial arts action star Kane Kosugi‘s official blog, the new film was announced as Tekken: A Man Called X, which was previously reported with director Prachya Pinkaew attached.
Stunt coordinator and fight choreographer Brahim Achabbakhe (center) took to Facebook this weekend to share a group photo with his choreography team a day ahead of the forthcoming production for the new film Tekken: A Man Called X from Crystal Sky and Lionsgate. The photo comes just after action star Kane Kosugi (second from right) announced on his official blog that he would be playing the titular role.
The film is set as a prequel to the 2010 reinterpretation of the NAMCO property directed by Dwight Little and starring Jon Foo, Ian Anthony Dale and Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa. Not much else is known about the film as of yet with principal phototography scheduled for the next three weeks, in addition to previous reports that Ong Bak director Prachya Pinkaew was attached as the director.
To name a few, Achabbakhe‘s most recent credits in stunts and choreography include Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun Li, actor Kazu Neda’s directorial debut in the 2013 action short, Marksmen with Ron Smoorenburg (Who Am I?, Skin Traffik), working with under action director Tim Man and doubling for action star Scott Adkins in Ninja: Shadow Of A Tear which co-starred Kosugi, and going toe-to-toe with Tiger Chen in the Keanu Reeves’ helmer, Man Of Tai Chi. Fans can expect more updated cast and crew news about Tekken: A Man Called X as the year rolls on.
It was not too long ago that I ranted in an editorial I crossposted over at The Action Elite about the need for a redux of the latest attempt at live-action for Tekken. At the time, my article didn’t meet much ire from a lot of readers (although I wouldn’t be surprised if certain folks disapproved), but many of the reactions I received were pretty upbeat and understanding. Although as badly as I would have wanted to see Tekken remade properly, after the last couple of years, I never would have guessed what would happened next…which now leads me to actor and martial arts action star Kane Kosugi.
Kosugi seen some great fortune throughout his career from childhood to adulthood, nowadays even moreso from the widespread approval of his most recent role in Isaac Florentine’s newest martial arts action thriller, Ninja: Shadow Of A Tear. Now the word, forwarded from Kosugi‘s official blog is that he has been tapped to play the titular role in the upcoming Hollywood production of Tekken: A Man Called X, touted as a prequel to the 2009 production of Tekken from Rapid Fire helmer Dwight H. Little. If the news sounds a bit funny to you, then you may recall just a year and a half earlier when Steven Paul, CEO of Crystal Sky announced to the presses that the new film, previously titled Tekken: Rise Of The Tournament, with director Prachya Pinkaew (Ong Bak, Tom Yum Goong 1 & 2) attached, would aim for a direct resemblance to the characters for its pending cast. And for the length of his tweet’s existence, the announcement didn’t stop Katsuhiro Harada, the creator of the very fighting game the films are based, from denying the news a few years after expressing his own disapproval of the Little-directed film earlier on.
Tekken: A Man Called X will serve as the fourth in line of films based on the highly acclaimed fighting game, since the 1998 animated film and director Yoichi Mori’s 2011 CG feature-length rendering, Tekken: Blood Vengeance, which Harada-san also helped with. The film also serves as Kosugi’s third fighting game-driven film since voicing the character Ryu in the 1999-animated film Street Fighter Alpha before going under action director Corey Yuen’s wing for the 2006 all-girl fight flick, D.O.A.: Dead Or Alive, in addition to Kosugi’s latest collaboration with Scott Adkins’s stunt double and co-coordinator for Ninja: Shadow Of A Tear, actor and stuntman Brahim Achabbakhe (Marksmen, Man Of Tai Chi) who will reportedly to direct the action scenes.
There is no word yet on who else has been cast, let alone what Harada-san’s response is to the film since his deleted tweets about anything Tekken movie-related as of 2010. So keep those antennae up and on high alert going into 2015 when as the film’s production makes headway.
Ninja: Shadow Of A Tear is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital wherever movies are sold with further releases pending. Meanwhile, Prachya’s new film, Tom Yum Goong 2, is currently on its way to the U.S. with a 3D release date from Magnolia also pending.
H/T: Kung Fu Cinema