Mixed martial arts as a sport has played a pivotal role in the evolution of the martial arts action genre over the last decade or so. One of the more mainstream attempts at this was director Jeff Wadlow’s 2008 coming-of-age action drama, Never Back Down, which did pretty well at the box office.
The film evidently led to its direct-to-DVD smaller-scale follow-up in 2011, Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown, with martial arts action superstar Michael Jai White co-starring, as well as debuting his first feature as director. Despite a miniscule budget of only $3 million with barely half the time it took to rehearse and film than its predecessor, the film ultimately earned the appeal of fans and left the potential for a third.
A lot more time has passed since then, and with fans still clamoring for more of what they saw in White’s continuance, it wasn’t until last week when the actor himself posted a photo announcing further updates on a possible third installment. On Tuesday, White kept his word with a new photo post on his page stating a potential title for the hopeful third film in the form of Never Back Down: Generations.
The photo White included in his post was that of himself with Guardians Of The Galaxy co-star, actor Djimon Hounsou. Hounsou first appeared in the 2008 film in the role of Jean Roqua opposite actor Sean Faris in the role of trouble-prone high school teen Jake Tyler; Roqua, an MMA pugilist and trainer, agreed to mentor Tyler in his desperation to learn how to fight after getting humiliated by MMA-obsessed glory hound Ryan McCarthy, played by Cam Cigandet. Supporting actor Evan Peters played Jake’s newfound friend, MMA fanboy, Max Cooperman, who also appeared in the 2011 sequel where White, in turn, stepped into the mentor role of Case Walker opposite then-lead, Dean Geyer.
It’s all very early at the moment, but White seems to be making it clear that this film is definitely going to happen, and with the likelihood that he and Hounsou may both appear in the film together at that! It’s an excellent move that could tie the first two films together in a way that could solidify the franchise once and for all. Of course, that all depends on who gets cast and what will be said of its production and forthcoming release.
I’ll leave it at that for now. In the meantime, White is slated to star in next month’s limited theatrical release of Falcon Rising, as well as Skin Trade next year with a date to be announced soon. Hounsou will make his next appearance in Fast And Furious 7 on April 3, 2015.
Subscribe to Michael Jai White’s Facebook page and stay tuned for more info!
Micah Brock, independent filmmaker and action director best known for his recent efforts with his successful online miniseries, Slug Street Scrappers, unveiled his latest short video via Youtube showcasing a cinematic clash of hard-hitting styles in Taekwondo VS. Muay Thai. The new video, of which there are two versions you can view below, pits Brock opposite fellow martial artist Shane Fazen, both whom have accumlated their respective audiences as online martial arts instructors over the last several years through their individual channels as Kwonkicker and Fight Tips.
For online fight fans, the video is but a precursor to a much larger, ambitious movement Brock and Fazen have been developing in recent months with Brock jumping on board as one of a select handful of contributing instructors for Fazen‘s new channel, My Fight Gym, for which he hosted a near half-hour interactive Q&A on Monday. The channel is accomodating willing participants with a two-week free trial offer which just started, so by all means, head over to the official page and subscribe to learn more about what Fazen, and his growing team have in store for you.
Brock‘s current film work on Slug Street Scrappers 4: Beat ‘Em Up is still in post-production, with further projects still likely in development.
It’s been a vivacious year for independent action cinema, and likely moreso than what I can keep up with, with so many teams out there in the world looking to create inspired and ambitious short films and projects to get their content circulating. And today, I have at least four new clips for what I am dubbing as this year’s Christmas Day edition of my Around The Web series, with two of the clips attributed to the holiday season.
The first two come straight from Italy, by way of two teams – the first being D-Unit’s new fan-driven shortfilm, Gift Revenge: A Star Wars Christmas Special featuring actors Loris Ripamonti and Mirco Cazzol. The piece is directed and edited by Cristoforo Cervino, with whom all three are currently working on a recently aired YouTube action webseries titled C9DES (Codes) – click the tags at the bottom of the article to learn more.
Check out Gift Revenge in the following embed, and special thanks to Ripamonti for sharing this little gem.
The second clip comes courtesy of Daniele Balconi who appears as his own rendition of Santa Claus in Stunt Claus: All Santa Wants For Christmas Is Peace. This little comedic holiday spoof doesn’t come with subtitles as it is entirely in Italian. However you get the basic idea of just what is happening – four thugs holding a rather Santa hostage, until Santa gets the upper hand and fights his way out. [UPDATE] The clip is now available with subtitles.
It’s a funny clip and I’m sure you will enjoy it. Alex Riva, Valerio Fioretti, Fabio Argentino and Klaudio Muça also star. Special thanks to Balconi for sharing this with our page, and for subscribing to Film Combat Syndicate.
The next two clips are non-holiday oriented, but I felt they deserved sharing as fitting additions to today’s Christmas article here; The next following clip in the next comes courtesy of the Serbia-based Team 360 and its members Dalibor Ranđelović Kraka, Nemanja Sekulić and Mirodrag Radulaški, and the team behind their first fight clip from the summer titled Fight For No Reason.
Ironically this not the first time I have seen a short action film with this particular title in the last ten years I have been following independent action cinema. But considering what you see in the short film, the title seems fitting – two guys going at it for no apparent reason whatsoever, leading to a silly and hilarious conclusion. It’s a fun piece created by a small group of people who have a total of well over thirty years in various styles of martial arts training and parkour, and are just now starting out.
Check it out below, and special thanks to Kraka for posting this on our Facebook page.
Last but not least, the fourth following short piece titled Sparring At Chimosa, features two of Germany’s most prominent film stunt professionals, Niklas Kinzel and Kai Fung Rieck. The clip was shot by Tolga Degirmen, and I came across this in my Facebook feed, so hopefully I can learn more about these guys in the near future. In the meantime, check out their latest clip below!
Subscribe to each and everyone of these channels for more exciting content. You can also find links to Facebook and Twitter in the description of the first two clips.
Stay tuned to Film Combat Syndicate as we continue to introduce quality content from some of today’s aspiring young action performers.
Director Hu Xuehua‘s latest co-production between Shanghai Film Group and the NBA combines high octane sports action with milestone special effects for the upcoming sci-fi basketball thriller, Amazing. The long-awaited film began production in 2010 and eventually made its way to the Shanghai International Film Festival back in June, and is finally plugging you into the 3D theatrical experience for a domestic release on the week of September 28, 2013.
A Cage Fighter Returns To The Ring For More Than The Championship In The New Trailer For CHAVEZ: CAGE OF GLORY
Mixed martial arts action, sports and drama are fused into an underdog story of a man fighting for his family and his own redemption in the new trailer for Chavez: Cage Of Glory. The film stars longtime actor, writer and director and award-winning martial arts master, Hector Echavarria, alongside actors Danny Trejo, James Russo and Steven Bauer.
Director Victor Lopez is behind the latest pilot of a new slate projects featuring freerunners from all over the world. The short film is called The Takeover , which features a unique collaboration of 14 freerunning teams/40 professional athletes showing off highly coordinated feats of gynmastics, tumbling and parkour through an airplane junkyard.
Tang Soo Do Master Eric Kovaleski is a busy man in recent years, owning and operating several branches of Master Kovaleski’s Karate USA and hosting special seminars with Korean international action performer, stuntman and choreographer, Grandmaster Won Jin. This year, as with every year since 2011, Eric is making preparations for this May’s upcoming events at the Split Rock Hotel in Pennsylvania for the Legends Of The Martial Arts Mega Martial Arts Weekend, an annual event which he hosts with vice president, actress and martial arts superstar, Grandmaster Cynthia Rothrock.
On Sunday, Feb 24th, Tempest Freerunning Academy will host the TEMPEST TAKEOVER PRO JAM, a live event tomorrow at 12:00pm featuring performances in parkour and freerunning, as well as exclusive interviews from professional athletes gathered from around the world. Follow Team Tempest using the hashtag #TempestProTakeover to get in on the action. If you wish to contact the team, you can email them here.
TIFF’s Next Wave film fest kicks off tonight! With the extra Family Day off, there’s no reason not to check out one of 17 films they are showing. Most films FREE for high school students incl Tomoyuki Furumaya’s BUSHIDÔ SIXTEEN!