THE MOVIE: Rumors have been circling for awhile now about an in-development remake of 1988’s Bloodsport, the martial arts extravaganza that launched Jean-Claude Van Damme to superstardom. Producer Ed Pressman (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps) was shopping around the project at Cannes last year, with Salt director Phillip Noyce and Taken screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen attached.
We haven’t heard much about the project since but, given the attention surrounding Van Damme due to his upcoming appearance in The Expendables 2, it wouldn’t be surprising if Pressman is eager to get this remake off the ground.
And now comes word from the man himself, Jean-Claude Van Damme, that he wants a co-starring role in the picture. Who would he play?
None other than the ‘Shindoshi, or mentor, to protagonist Frank Dux. It would be a nice way for Van Damme to come full circle after all these years and he already did an excellent job playing teacher to Cung Le in Dragon Eyes. However, Van Damme is claiming that the makers of the Bloodsport remake don’t want much to do with him, presumably because they want their new film to stand on its own.
As an aside, Jean-Claude Van Damme also explains just why we saw so many Bloodsport spin-offs and sequels throughout the 90’s. Says Van Damme: “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.’” True enough: you’d be hard pressed to find martial arts series with more sequels than Bloodsport – or Kickboxer, for that matter.
Update: Van Damme is never short of ideas. During an interview, the actor just pitched a sequel – or reboot? – of his early 90’s flick Double Impact. You’ll remember it as the movie where Van Damme played twin brothers, one an aerobics instructor and the other a criminal in Hong Kong. In this update, the California-bred twin Chad would be a riff on Van Damme’s own persona a la JVCD. Now a movie producer who is decidedly short on cash, Chad ends up framing his twin brother Alex when he steals money from some Hong Kong loan sharks. Alex, an Expendables-like tough guy, tracks his brother back to L.A. where trouble ensues.
BREAKING NEWS: Looks like Phillip Noyce is out and the director of Ninja Assassin and V for Vendetta is in. Variety reports that James McTeigue will be directing the Bloodsport reboot. No word on the cast, but the reboot will explore the life of 21st century mercenaries as they collide with the underground world of Brazilian Vale Tudo fighting. Craig Rosenberg (The Uninvited) is re-writing the script based off a story by Robert Mark Kamen (Taken) and Phillip Noyce (Salt).