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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It’s been over a year since we heard about the return of the Kickboxer franchise that would bring back Jean-Cladue Van Damme as the mentor to a new fighter who heads to Thailand to avenge the death of his brother. But now we have word that RLJ Entertainment has picked up Kickboxer: Vengeance for release in theaters and on VOD sometime later this year. Along with the news comes the first teaser trailer for the movie, which looks Van Damme’s own attempt at making the Kickboxer version of Creed, but more than likely not as good. Read More »
After making a few decent action flicks, and a slew of really bad ones, Jean-Claude Van Damme didn’t have any problem poking fun at himself while getting surprisingly introspective in the 2008 Belgian crime drama JCVD. And now he’s going to do it again, but this time for an action comedy series called Jean-Claude Van Johnson at Amazon, one that gives a very good reason as to why he made something as terrible as Street Fighter. Find out more about the Jean-Claude Van Damme Amazon series below. Read More »
JCVD has become the teacher. Multiple remakes of Jean-Claude Van Damme action movies from the ‘80s are brewing, and while one doesn’t want him, another has embraced the man who generated the audiences to make a remake possible in the first place. Kickboxer is being remade with a new cast, and in the Kickboxer remake Jean-Claude Van Damme will now play the role of the master who teaches martial arts to a promising young student. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
You may know that Jean-Claude Van Damme originally had a faceless but significant part in John McTiernan‘s Predator. Specifically, he was going to be the guy in the Predator suit, back before the alien design we all know and love was totally finalized. In fact, Van Damme spent a couple days running around doing tests in a lobster-like costume and feeling pretty pissed-off about the fact that his martial arts skills were going to waste. The costume didn’t work, and eventually it was scrapped for a different design, worn by the much larger actor Kevin Peter Hall.
Stan Winston’s son recently had effects guy Steve Johnson (Ghostbusters, Species, Blade 2) as a guest on the inaugural episode of The Monster Show. Therein, Johnson told the story of the original Predator design and Van Damme’s involvement. It isn’t the most kind retelling of the story, but elapsed decades erase the need to maintain decorum. The story is so weird you’ll probably think it is a joke. You must watch the video below.
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Posted on Thursday, March 13th, 2014 by Angie Han
Whether you like family-friendly animated adventures or hard-R action thrillers, someone out there is trying to make a sequel for you. After the jump:
- Kristen Bell would do Frozen 2 “in a heartbeat”
- Sullivan Stapleton really wants there to be another 300
- Jean Claude Van Damme would like to be in Expendables 4
- The Raid 3 won’t get going “for a couple of years”
- Fast & Furious 7 is heading to Abu Dhabi to shoot
- Leigh Whannell doesn’t know anything about Saw 8
- … but does have a few details to share about Insidious 3
- Transformers 4 reveals a bunch of (human) character posters
- The GNN staff goes wild in a deleted scene from Anchorman 2
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OK, seriously, what’s going on with Jean-Claude Van Damme? I would have never pegged the guy as light-hearted, but he actually looks like he’s been having fun of late. There was that volvo commercial with the impressive split. Then there was yesterday’s trailer for Welcome to the Jungle, JCVD’s first outright comedy.
Now we’ve got a look at Enemies Closer, an action film about a sort of bayou manhunt that definitely has it’s own comic edge. In fact, Van Damme is really drinking from the same well Javier Bardem was when he did The Counselor. Just check the whacked-out hair and mannerisms. The movie looks awful, but ol’ Jean-Claude just couldn’t give a Damme. (The marketing people wrote that, not me. *runs away*) Read More »
I might ask “why has Jean Claude Van Damme never done a comedy?” and someone could scoff “dude, didn’t you see Cyborg? Or Double Impact? Or Street Fight—” and I’d say “shut up, why hasn’t he made a movie that was billed as a comedy?” That conversation can go around and around, but the truth remains: there really isn’t a JCVD movie that is obviously designed for laughs more than anything else.
Enter Welcome to the Jungle, in which the Muscles from Brussels plays a boot camp instructor at a team-building retreat where, naturally, things go very wrong. Check out the trailer below. Read More »