Remember back in 2008 when Jean-Claude Van Damme came out with the self-aware comedic drama JCVD and it seemed like he might once again become an actor that people talked about on a regular basis? Well, 7 years and one Expendables 2 appearance later, the world is still in dire need of more Van Damme in their lives. That may all change soon, as the development process has begun on a new comedy series called – I shit you all not – Jean Claude Van Johnson. Yes, precious Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
It’s still too early in the lifespan of this project to start celebratory roundhouse kicking everything in sight, but maybe just do two or three of them. In the half-hour comedy Jean Claude Van Johnson, a name that is mental ambrosia, Van Damme would reach into his own experiences to play an internationally recognized actor and martial arts extraordinaire that goes by the name Johnson when moonlighting as the most dangerous undercover private contractor on the planet. I see nothing wrong with this concept in the least, and here’s hoping it’s like a comedic procedural where he just goes on extravagant missions every week, Archer style. Oh man, and then have a crossover episode.
According to Deadline, Jean Claude Van Johnson is being written and executive produced by Dave Callaham, co-screenwriter of the first Expendables movie with Sylvester Stallone. Callaham also co-wrote Doom, the 2009 mystery Horsemen, and has a story credit on Godzilla. He is also one of the writers who put together the Zombieland 2 script, though it remains to be seen if anything becomes of that.
News of this new project came out along with a ton of other in-development projects being put together through Ridley Scott’s company Scott Free. I mean seriously, the company has not only The Good Wife and the upcoming BrainDead on CBS, but it also has a trio of other projects at the network, including a medical drama and a cop comedy. As well, Scott Free has an adaptation of Dan Simmons’ The Terror at AMC, along with three other in-the-works projects. Not to mention Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle, FX’s Taboo with Tom Hardy, and PBS’ Mercy Street. Lots of stuff happening there.
Van Damme, who lived on as a bus in Netflix’s Sense8, would be the latest of the 1980s/1990s action heroes to make his way to the small screen. Steven Seagal had his cop reality shows, Wesley Snipes has The Player currently on NBC (though maybe not for long), and Celebrity Apprentice audiences will get to see Arnold Schwarzenegger taking over for Donald Trump.
Would you guys watch Van Damme flinging jokes around as well as his fists? If your answer to that is “No,” then it’s like I don’t even know you.