Shortly after running our last piece, How Did This Get Made: A Conversation with Frank Dux, the Real-Life Inspiration for Bloodsport, I was put in touch with Sheldon Lettich. This was significant not only because he wrote the screenplay for Bloodsport, but also because Dux had said some unflattering things about the writer.
So when I finally connected with Lettich, I worried that there might be some not-so-flattering words headed my way. But to my pleasant surprise, Lettich was a complete gentleman. And when I told about him the purpose of this How Did This Get Made series—to investigate how movies got made, and the careers of those involved—he was happy to clear up any misconceptions and provide additional insights into the making of Bloodsport, his two decades of collaboration with Jean-Claude Van Damme and what it takes to write a badass, blow-em-up action film.
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Unlike so many of the testosterone-fueled films of the ’80s, Bloodsport holds the rare distinction of being based on a true story. It’s the amazing tale of Frank Dux, a Caucasian martial artist who fought in (and won) a ruthless secret tournament that’s held only once every five years. It’s a tale so amazing that two months after the film’s release, it was dismissed by the L.A. Times as nothing but a fabricated “macho fantasy.” And that piece, filled with accusations and allegations, continues even to this day cast doubt upon the reputation of Frank Dux.
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There will be a new version of Bloodsport, the ’80s martial arts thriller in which Jean-Claude Van Damme fought Bolo Yeung and his pecs. (Above, JCVD shows off the reaction most of us would have when faced with the magnificence of said pectorals.) We’ve known about the remake for a long time, but now the movie has a director. James McTeigue (V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin, The Raven) will make the movie. Read More »
It should surprise no one that a remake of the 1988 action film Bloodsport has been in the works for some time. The original is well-known for launching Jean Claude Van Damme into action superstardom. It follows his character, Frank Dux, as he infiltrates a deadly martial arts competition, and eventually fulfills his destiny by besting all competitors. Bloodsport was a perfect title for an awesome movie, and a while back writer Robert Mark Kamen (Taken 2) was hired to write a new version with Philip Noyce (Salt) set to direct. The idea wasn’t novel or exciting, but it fit Hollywood’s current way of thinking.
With Taken 2 now at the top of the box office, Kamen has been discussing that film and got asked about the Bloodsport remake. He didn’t offer any significant update but did say he doesn’t feel Van Damme would appear because he doesn’t fit. The reason why will surprise you. Read the quote, and Van Damme’s thoughts, after the jump. Read More »
Action films in the Eighties were extremely distinctive. The featured big muscle-bound men accomplishing insurmountable tasks, decorated with squirting blood, massive guns and fists to the face. The names are legend: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Jean Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris. The films are revered: The Terminator, Bloodsport, Commando, Cobra, Rocky III, RoboCop, Rambo, Aliens. And now Spoke Art has teamed up with artist Jon Smith to create an art exhibit that’s all about the craziest era in action film history.
It’s called Mucho Machismo: First Blood Part One and features works by Godmachine, James Flames, Tim Doyle, Methane Studios, Gabz, Alan Hynes and many others. The show opens in Oakland, CA Friday September 7 and will remain on display through September 28. Check out an exclusive gallery of images featuring all those films above and others after the jump. Read More »