A few months we began to get some casting news in regard to the Kickboxer remake. Stunt man/martial artist Alain Moussi (X-Men: Days of Future Past) was onboard to play the lead alongside George St. Pierre (Bartoc from Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Dave Bautista (Riddick, Guardians of the Galaxy). They were to be joined by Scott Adkins (Zero Dark Thirty) and Tony Jaa (Fast & Furious 7). The Kickboxer remake was to follow Kurt Sloan (Moussi), a talented martial artist who travels to Thailand where he must learn the secrets of the kickboxer to avenge his brother’s death at the hands of Tong Po (Bautista).
All of that stuff remains the same. Well, except for Jaa. Why? He’s fallen out of the picture and mother*cking Jean-Claude Van Damme has taken his place! That’s right, JCVD is back for the Kickboxer remake. But not in the same role he portrayed in the 1989 original. John Stockwell will direct the film, which starts shooting this week in New Orleans before moving onto Thailand. Hit the jump for more.
THR is reporting that Van Damme is indeed in talks to join the Kickboxer remake:
This time, however, Van Damme is not the student but the master and is replacing Thai action star Tony Jaa, who dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
This is fantastic news. As someone who loved the original as a child, this provides pretty much the only incentive to bridge my interest over to this newer installment. I mean, I love Bautista, but I was still willing to skip this one. That is no longer the case.