Two movies that made a star of Jean-Claude Van Damme in the late '80s - Bloodsport (1988) and Kickboxer (1989) - are both getting reboots. (Does it even feel like pain anymore?)
Relativity Media reportedly has director James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) attached to the new version of Bloodsport, while Kickboxer will be re-launched by Radar Pictures (Riddick), with Hong Kong director Stephen Fung (Tai Chi Zero) at the helm.
Deadline dropped the news of the Bloodsport/Kickboxer reboots. The site reports that the new Bloodsport - originally about an army officer who goes AWOL to compete in an illegal underground fight tournament - will now be about "the morally-conflicted life of 21st century mercenaries who clash with the underground world of Brazilian Vale Tudo, the martial arts style used by Donald Gibb’s character in the original film." So yeah, that's something... different. The script has an impending re-write by Craig Rosenberg (The Uninvited), who is re-working the vision of Robert Kamen (Taken Trilogy) and Phillip Noyce (Salt), the creative team originally attached to the reboot.
Kickboxer - which was originally about a man who learns Muay Thai kickboxing in order to avenge his brother in a brutal fight - will get a script by TV writer Jim McGrath (Air America, Matlock) and his former collaborator Dimitri Logothetis (The Lost Angel, Air America). No word yet on whether or not the script writers are going to re-imagine the storyline for the rebooted version; however, given the names attached, it seems like Fung's action prowess (for what it's worth) is going to have to carry things. Check out a scene from Tai Chi Zero, below:
Of the two projects, Bloodsport has the more promising team handling script and directing duties - but since neither film has a cast picked out yet - particularly stars to replace Van Damme in the leading roles - it's hard to judge either way whether or not these re-visits to two action movie cult-classics are going to be in any way worthwhile. For now, there's bound to be more skepticism than optimism.
We'll keep you updated on the status of both the Bloodsport and Kickboxer reboots.