For the past few years, Amazon has been producing a slew of television shows and movies on their own digital streaming service. Amazon has been able to create several successful shows, including Transparent, The Man in the High Castle, and Mozart in the Jungle. Though Amazon is still fairly new to TV, the company has already recruited several big names actors for their shows, such as Ron Perlman, John Goodman, Orlando Bloom, and Bill Murray. Martial arts icon Jean Claude Van Damme is joining the list as the star of Amazon’s half-hour comedy series, Jean-Claude Van Johnson.
Van Damme has posted a teaser for his upcoming Amazon TV series (see the video above), following the show being officially picked up last year. In the short clip, we can see the Belgian actor kicking at the initials of his name “JCVD”. Van Damme kicks down the “D” and replaces it with a “J,” to spell out the initials of the series.
In Jean-Claude Van Johnson, the Muscles from Brussels will play a fictionalized version of himself who has become “the world’s best undercover private contractor” under the alias, “Johnson.” Johnson eventually retires but “a chance encounter with a lost love brings him back to the game.” The pilot episode has received glowing praise on Amazon both from critics, and from Van Damme’s enormous fan base.
Van Damme is known for his numerous starring roles in martial arts flicks in the 1980s and 1990s. Among the actor’s most notable credits are Bloodsport, Kickboxer, Hard Target, and science fiction films Universal Soldier and Time Cop.
Surprisingly, Van Damme’s most critically acclaimed role came in the 2008 Belgian crime drama, JCVD, where Van Damme also played himself, this time as an aging, out-of-luck actor fighting a losing custody battle over his daughter. The film was noted by critics for breaking away from Van Damme’s reputation as an action hero. JCVD featured a heartbreaking performance by Van Damme that some critics even argued was worthy of an Oscar nomination (if not a win).
Featuring a cast that also includes Kat Foster, Ian Fisher, Moises Arias, and Phylicia Rashad, Jean-Claude Van Johnson does not yet have an air date.
Source: Jean-Claude Van Damme
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