Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has forged an enviable path from professional wrestling to Hollywood mega-stardom. And now three other pro fighters are following in his footsteps, and those of Jean-Claude Van Damme by headlining a remake of the cult classic Kickboxer.
THR reports out of the Cannes Film Market that WWE star Dave Bautista, who co-stars in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy, has joined the Kickboxer remake along with UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, who had a scene-stealing fight in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. While both these professional fighters are sure to pull in MMA and wrestling fans, neither is shouldering the lead for this high-impact actioner. That responsibility will fall on Alain Moussi, a Gabon-born martial artist and stuntman who appeared in movies like Pacific Rim, White House Down, and Brick Mansions.
Its unclear at present what roles Dave Bautista and Georges St. Pierre will play in Kickboxer, but we're assuming brawny adversaries to Alain Moussi, who will play Kurt Sloan, a role originated by Jean-Claude Van Damme in 1989. Can he possibly step into Van Damme high-kicking shoes? As evidence in Moussi's favor I offer this promotional still from his IMDB page.
Below is the official synopsis for Kickboxer:
Kickboxer tells the story of David and Kurt Sloan, the descendants of a well-known Venice, Calif., fighting dynasty. When David wins the Karate World Championship, a promoter lures him to Hong Kong, despite his brother's protestations that the man is a crook. When Kurt travels to Thailand to meet his brother, he discovers he has died, and seeks his revenge.
Moussi is better known for his athleticism than his acting chops, but Kickboxer producer Ted Field (Pitch Black, The Last Samurai) is confident Moussi will be kill it. He states:
"Alain is a star and will be an amazing leading man. Like Vin [Diesel] in Riddick, Alain will make this movie very special and this Kickboxer will be the start of an amazing franchise."
You heard it here. If Kickboxer hits, you can expect Kickboxer 2, 3 etc.
For now, Kickboxer's producers are lining up foreign distribution on the basis of the intimidating leads. But this is actually the third Van Damme movie to recently announce a reboot. Last spring reports emerged that Time Cop was getting revamped. And shortly thereafter V is for Vendetta helmer James McTeigue revealed his plans to remake Bloodsport.