Interview: Jean-Claude Van Johnson Director Peter Atencio

Amazon’s pilot for Jean-Claude Van Johnson not only seems like Jean-Claude Van Damme’s guaranteed comeback, but it is a love letter to JCVD’s loyal fans for decades. With references to his splits, his movies from Bloodsport to Timecop and even a twin, Jean-Claude Van Johnson leaves fans wanting more. It will be up to the fans whether or not Amazon orders a full series, as they can vote on Amazon’s pilot season.

Van Johnson stars Van Damme as himself, a retired actor who comes back not only to Hollywood but to his true job as an undercover agent. Thanks to his agent Jane (Phylicia Rashad), Van Damme takes a role on the action-packed Huckleberry Finn reboot Huck as a cover for his latest mission. We spoke with the pilot’s director and potential series executive producer Peter Atencio about where Jean-Claude Van Johnson could go and how he made the ultimate Van Damme movie in the pilot. Hit the jump to read our interview with Interview: Jean-Claude Van Johnson director Peter Atencio.

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Timecop remake

Briefly: A Timecop remake has been in the pipeline for the past year, with Mike Richardson, founder and president of Dark Horse Comics, as exec producer. (Dark Horse published the comic that led to the original Jean-Claude Van Damme film.) Truly motivating the reboot is Marc Shmuger, who produced 2013 films We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks and The Spectacular Now.

The original film starred Jean-Claude Van Damme as a cop in a near future in which time travel exists, and is policed by official agents. JCVD’s cop runs afoul of a politician who is abusing the time stream, and action and violence follow.

Now Shmuger has chosen writers to put Timecop on the page. Mark and Brian Gunn, writers of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, will script Timecop as “a more gritty and grounded police story [than the original] with the sci-fi in the background, though it will still have the main character on a personal journey.” That’s according to THR, which says the tone of the remake could be similar to that of Looper.

The Gunns are also scripting Journey 3, a MacGyver film, and the The Monster Squad remake.

Universal Developing Reboot of ‘Timecop’


Whenever the topic of “Best Jean Claude Van Damme Movie” is on the table, someone always brings up Timecop. Deservedly so. The 1994 film, directed by Peter Hyams, told the story of a time travelling police force and one officer (JCVD himself) who tries to bring down a politician abusing the time-hopping technology.  It’s a solid flick, based on a Dark Horse Comics publication, and led to a TV show and a direct-to-DVD sequel.

So what’s the next step for a generally well-regarded sci-fi action film with a fairly unique plot that’s already proved successful over multiple mediums? Reboot it, of course. That’s exactly what Universal Pictures is doing with Timecop. Read More »


What if the popular time travelers of cinema and television history existed on the same timeline? David McCandless created this crazy visualization as part of his upcoming book The Visual Miscellaneum ($18 preorder on Amazon). The chart tracks all the action between 800 AD and 4000 AD, and the tracking is color-coded by method of time travel: Alien Technology, Force of Nature, Time Machine, Deep Freeze, or Unknown. McCandless also imagines what possible paradoxes might occur when multiple time travelers converge on the same date. Check out the full chart after the jump.

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Timecop Remake

Timecop“They killed his wife ten years ago. There’s still time to save her. Murder is forever…until now.”

Our buddies at IESB are reporting that Dark Horse Entertainment and Universal are looking to go into production on a remake of Timecop. Aside from the 90’s cheese and Jean-Claude Van Damme, the movie is a guilty pleasure of a lot of film fanatics.

The film broke $100 million worldwide (Van-Damme’s highest grossing film of all time) and spun off into a short lived television series (nine episodes on ABC in 1997). In 2003, a direct-to-dvd sequel titled Timecop 2: The Berlin Decision starring Jason Scott Lee and Thomas Ian Griffith was released.

In the original film, Van Damme played a Time Enforcement Agent, part of a specialized police organization. Conflicted because he knows it is possible to prevent his wife’s death, however his job as a Time Enforcement Agent prevents him from acting on such a prevention.

The concept is better than the sum of its parts, and with a good screenwriter, it could be a summer tentpole film. Hopefully they won’t go all B-movie on us. The good news is that Van-Damme is not being brought back for the reboot, and that IESB claims that the actor currently circling the role is “100% bad ass and one of the coolest action stars of today.”