Jean-Claude Van Damme may be returning to his roots by taking a role in the upcoming Kickboxer remake. He is said to be in final talks to join the cast. This franchise launched the action star’s career years ago; however, if the deal does go through, Van Damme will play the master instead of the student, replacing Tony Jaa, who reportedly left the project due to scheduling conflicts.
The film centers on talented martial artist Kurt Sloan, intent on avenging the death of his brother, who was killed by the character Tong Po. As part of his plot for revenge, Sloan travels to Thailand and learns the secrets of the kickboxer. He is taught by Master Chow (Van Damme).
The role of Chow for this remake is described as a new version of the character, but details have not been revealed. With the Brussels-born Van Damme playing the character, it’s likely that Chow’s ethnicity has changed. He was previously portrayed by Asian actor Dennis Chan.
Starring as Kurt is Alain Moussi, best known for X-Men: Days of Future Past. The villain, Tong Po, will be played by wrestler-turned actor Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy). The cast also includes Georges St-Pierre (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Demetrice Nguyen (The Walking Dead).
The movie will have two directors, Stephen Fung (Tai Chi Zero) and John Stockwell, who recently helmed the TV movie Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden.
The screenplay was written by Dimitri Logothetis, best known for penning Momo: The Sam Giancana Story, and collaborator Jim McGrath.
Kickboxer is expected to be released in U.S. theaters sometime in 2015.