The Exchange has boarded sales on Radar Pictures’ reboot of 1989 Jean-Claude Van Damme action pic Kickboxer. Chinese director Stephen Fung (Tai Chi Zero) will helm and Ted Field is producing. UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and WWE veteran Dave Bautista (Guardians Of The Galaxy) are starring with stunt man Alain Moussi (X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Pacific Rim) in his first lead role. The film follows David and Kurt Sloan, the descendants of a California dynasty of champions. After David wins the Karate World Championship, a promoter lures him to Hong Kong despite his brother’s protests. When David dies, Kurt turns to his former mentor Xian Chow to seek revenge on the viscous Tong Po. The film is also produced by Dimitri Logothetis and Nick Celozzi. Mike Weber and Peter Meyer will executive produce as well as Brian O’Shea, Jeff Bowler and Nat McCormick for the Exchange.
Cannes Briefs: ‘Kickboxer’ Reboots With Georges St Pierre, Dave Bautista, Alain Moussi; Warner International Takes ‘Relatos Salvajes’ To France, Spain, Lat Am; More
EXCLUSIVE: More than two decades after Jean-Claude Van Damme split-kicked his way onto the scene, the legacy of the Muscles from Brussels is making a double impact on Hollywood’s action game. Radar Pictures (The Last Samurai, Riddick) has a new vision for Van Damme’s 1989 martial arts actioner Kickboxer, one of two Van Damme reboots in the works around town. The original Bangkok-set pic from Kings Road Entertainment starred Van Damme as Westerner Kurt Sloane, a cornerman who trains in Muay Thai to avenge his brother’s crippling at the hands of a brutal Thai kickboxing champ. Kickboxer arrived a year after Van Damme’s breakthrough in Bloodsport sparking fan debate for decades over which pic is the better JCVD vehicle. (For its money Kickboxer boasted a memorable baddie in Tong Po, the villain who popped up in two of four subsequent sequels.)
Now Radar Pictures aims to reboot the franchise with Hong Kong director Stephen Fung at the helm. Fung’s hot festival run at Venice and Toronto this year landed him representation with Paradigm after his Tai Chi Zero opened atop the Chinese box office. The actor-writer-director is also repped by Principato-Young and is a partner in Diversion Pictures with Hong Kong star Daniel Wu. Jim McGrath and Dimitri Logothetis (Air America) will pen the Kickboxer script, with Logothetis producing alongside Ted Field and Nick Celozzi. Mike Weber and Peter Meyer will exec produce. Casting is underway now eyeing a fall or possible early 2014 start.
Radar Partners’ Stratton Sclavos is joining the new online network formed by Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank’s Prospect Park. This is the management, media and production company that recently forged a multi-year, multi-platform licensing agreement with Disney/ABC Domestic Television Group to continue production of All My Children and One Life to Live after their ABC runs end. Sclavos was formerly chairman of the board, president and CEO of VeriSign, where he started as one of its first employees in 1995 and helped grow the company into an international corporation with $1.6B in revenue. Sclavos will advise the network on technology, infrastructure and overall content delivery — the key components to delivering those new soap opera properties to loyal viewers. Azure Capital’s Mike Kwatinetz, who was also named to the network’s board, will provide the company with strategic guidance.
Adria Petty, the daughter of singer Tom Petty, has been set to make her narrative feature directing debut on Suffocate, a Ben Olson-scripted thriller for Radar Pictures. Petty has directed commercials campaigns for McDonald’s, Target and Converse and helmed videos for Beyonce, Regina Spektor and Anjulie. She directed the documentary Paris, Not France, which played the 2008 Toronto Film Festival, and directed a recent Live in London concert film with Spektor. Suffocate is a thriller about a group of city workers who enter a hoarder’s condemned brownstone and find it loaded with deadly traps, and an unrelenting killer. The group is forced to use their wits–and demolition tools–to stay alive. Petty is repped by Gersh and Kaplan/Perrone.