Not surprising: A remake of 1988’s classic martial arts movie Bloodsport is currently in the early stages of production. Phillip Noyce, director of 2010’s Angelina Jolie-starring thriller Salt, has been tapped to direct, though beyond that, little is known of the direction this film might take. That said, it’s probably safe to assume it will involve muscular dudes kicking one another in the face.
Surprising: Star of the original Bloodsport and noted action movie legend Jean-Claude Van Damme has not, as of yet, been asked to participate in the remake, despite his now-public insistence that he’d jump at the chance to create a new Bloodsport flick.
Nextmovie caught up with Van Damme as he was doing the publicity rounds for his upcoming role in The Expendables 2, and the now 51-year-old actor offered the following on his willingness to join the cast of Bloodsport:
I want to be in the film as a trainer and I don’t think the writer wants [me] to … he knows that Bloodsport is a big film so he wants to get credit with all of that — you know what I’m saying?
When I did the first Bloodsport it was an independent company and [they] didn’t want bankruptcy, so they sold the title all over the place — 2,3,4,5,6 Bloodsports. The remake, I would love to be in it. It’s kind of painful, but maybe they’ll change their minds. That would be great because I can still kick better than anybody here today.
After reading that quote, we assume that you’re having one of two possible reactions. Those of you who know Van Damme primarily as a lesser action star of the late 80s and early 90s are likely wondering why this qualifies as interesting news, while those of you who have seen 2008’s excellent faux documentary JCVD are loudly cursing whichever idiotic executive decided to recreate Bloodsport without its most famous face. You latter folk know that, given a proper script, Van Damme can be a shockingly excellent actor, capable of generating a level of pathos one would not expect from a man who built his career on finding entertaining new ways to do the splits in the middle of a fist fight.
For that second group, we do have a bit of news that should help ease the pain of the above info. During the same conversation where Van Damme expressed disappointment at his absence from the upcoming Bloodsport, he also let slip that a sequel to 1997’s Double Impact is likewise in the very early stages of production.
Nextmovie offers the following relevant quotes:
I wrote the script with a friend of mine Sheldon — He [co-wrote] Bloodsport and Double Impact with me. Hopefully, somebody smart enough, like an agent or a producer, can put that back together…I’m excited about it, you know?
You may recall Double Impact as the film in which Van Damme plays twin brothers Alex and Chad Wagner, both of whom are excellent fighters, but otherwise polar opposites. Alex grew up to be a relatively straight arrow, while his brother became a petty crook on the streets of Hong Kong. The script for Van Damme’s Double Impact sequel still focuses on the siblings, though it’s set years after the first flick.
I came up with a great story set in Los Angeles. [Chad] is a producer, making pictures with a big house behind him. Alex is gonna go on vacation and has some problems with the Triads. Why? Because Chad went to Hong Kong and to get some loan money using [Alex’s] face, all of that bulls**t. And Alex comes [to Los Angeles] to see Chad and he’s full of s**t, has a girl pregnant, and she’s the sister of the big boss from South Central. It’s like ‘Double Impact’ in Los Angeles.
Though the second Double Impact currently lacks studio backing, we’ve got a feeling that if The Expendables 2 is as much of a hit as its predecessor, Van Damme should have producers jumping at the chance to revive his classic roles. Assuming, of course, that Hollywood still has the stones to film and market a true action flick in 2012.