The Kickboxer remake, Kickboxer: Vengeance, quickly picked up speed when a sequel to the film was announced way before Vengeance had even finished filming. Now, we’re getting some new casting news for that sequel, titled Kickboxer: Retaliation, that confirms the presence of a fighting great: Mike Tyson.
According to Variety, the former world champion boxer has joined Kickboxer: Retaliation in a role that will likely showcase his strengths as a former professional boxer and all around badass. Tyson will take on the part of a hardened convict who’s been forced into a world of fighting behind bars. There’s been no word yet on the name of Tyson’s character or whether he fights simply to protect himself, or as part of some cutthroat prison fighting ring.
Mike Tyson knows a lot about fighting, and it just so happens that he also knows a bit about being in one degree or another of legal trouble. He was in a gang when he was a pre-teen, and had been arrested more than 30 times by the age of 13. Years later, he also served three years of a six-year prison sentence for rape and deviant sexual conduct. A large part of his life, in fact, has been marred by his troubles with the law, so bringing to life the character of a tough convict who participates in fights while in prison should be relatively easy for Tyson.
His appearance in Kickboxer: Retaliation will be far from his first part on film. Tyson has quite the history with film and TV projects, mostly due to his wild behavior out of the ring (and in the ring, actually), which has made him a character in his own right. The athlete has played himself in dozens of television shows and movies, including Webster, Rocky Balboa, The Hangover, Entourage, Law & Order: SVU, Scary Movie 5, and provided his voice to the Cartoon Network’s Mike Tyson Mysteries Adult Swim crime-fighting spoof. So, Tyson will be able to handle his time on screen just fine.
Kickboxer: Vengeance will follow Kurt Sloane (Alain Moussi) as he heads to Thailand to seek vengeance for his brother by fighting the Muay Thai champion, Tong Po (Dave Bautista) who killed him in the ring. He’ll look for help from his brother’s mentor, Master Durnad (Jean-Claude Van Damme) to beat the man who needlessly killed his brother. The sequel will see Kurt forcibly returned to Thailand to fight a dangerous new foe, played by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who is best known as The Mountain on Game of Thrones.
Well, it looks like the filmmakers knew what they were doing when they invited Mike Tyson to join the cast of a hardcore, fight-heavy action film like Kickboxer: Retaliation. We can all see how he channels his real life skills to his character when the film opens sometime in 2017.