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Jean-Claude Van Damme seems to be in the process of revitalizing and re-imagining his career. You haven’t seen any of his work, but overseas he’s been quietly making and releasing a variety of very different, and sometimes flat out weird film. One of the next things he’s working on is a movie called Full Love, which he’ll direct. It’s the first movie he’s directed since The Quest in 1996, and this morning I got my hands on a small part of the script.
Here’s the surprising thing… it doesn’t seem like an action movie. Instead, Full Love is more like a heavy drama with romantic elements, in the vein of True Romance, without the clever dialogue. The pages I have take place in Thailand, and they’re the story of a man named Frenchy in love with a Turkish whore named Magdalena, whom he attempts to free from her pimp. Frenchy’s best friend is a bitter, crippled, alcoholic veteran of the Iraq war, who ends up pissed at his friend for falling in love with someone from “over there”, since he hates everyone of even vaguely Middle Eastern descent.
It’s unclear whether Jean-Claude will also act in the film. I’ve read rumors in several different places which hint that he may show up playing himself. I can’t see that working from what I’ve read in this part of the script. It doesn’t seem like that kind of film, it’s a serious, heavy drama, like something you’d see from Ridley Scott. Not the kind of movie where you’d have a celebrity as a character.
Full Love is definitely a long way from Universal Soldier and Bloodsport. Who knows if all of this will ever turn into a come back for Van Damme, but at least he’s out there trying something different, in front of and behind the camera.