A little over a year ago, we heard that a reboot of Jean-Claude Van Damme's KICKBOXER was in the works with TAI CHI ZERO's Stephen Fung lined up to direct. We now know the big names Fung rounded out for the cast, and it's a not unformidable roster of martial arts talent.
JCVD's role, that of the kickboxer who undergoes vicious training to avenge his fallen fighter brother, will be played by actor/stuntman Alain Moussi. Moussi's done stunts for films like PACIFIC RIM, BRICK MANSIONS, X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, and the upcoming WARCRAFT, as well as an accomplished martial artist.
But that's not the cool part.
No, the cast also includes Georges St. Pierre, Dave Bautista, Scott Adkins, and Tony Jaa.
Aside from St. Pierre, a 3-time UFC champion (who got his ass kicked by Steve Rogers as Batroc the Leaper in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER), that's a fairly prolific, experienced lineup of cinematic asskickers right there. Bautista is obviously blowing up as we speak due to his pitch-perfect, deadpan performance as Drax the Destroyer, but Scott Adkins and especially Tony Jaa are incredibly impressive fighters with a ton of movies under their respective belts, some of them really, really fun. They've been leading men in their own films for years now, and landing them for this film gives it a surprising boost in credibility. Especially if they square off.
No word on who any of these guys are playing, if one of them has been tasked with playing Tong Po (Bautista?), or who they're looking at for the role of Moussi's mentor in the film (Jaa??). I'd peg Adkins as the beaten brother, but I'm getting a feeling that role's been significantly diminished this time around (read: dead, not paralyzed). I'm getting more of a BLOODSPORT, tournament-style vibe than KICKBOXER from this one; don't be surprised to see all four names as various fighters Moussi encounters/fights on his way to facing Tong Po.
Regardless, a martial arts film in the mold of the late-'80s JCVD jams featuring Bautista, Scott Adkins, and Tony Jaa is certainly something to keep on the radar. I'm really hoping this is a badass throwback to those tournament-style kung-fu flicks of yesteryear, and not a cheap throwaway banking on name recognition.