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Double Impact: Jean-Claude Van Damme’s ‘Kickboxer’ & ‘Bloodsport’ Set For Dueling Reboots

By | Wednesday July 24, 2013 @ 5:15pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Kickboxer Van Damme rebootMore 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. Read More »

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Well Go USA Acquires Stephen Fung’s Sequel ‘Tai Chi Hero’

By | Friday October 19, 2012 @ 12:08pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: As Well Go USA Entertainment today opens the Stephen Fung-directed action film Tai Chi Zero on the specialty circult, the distributor has closed a deal for the film’s sequel, Tai Chi Hero. The deal is for North American rights for the film, which is the second in a trilogy. Tai Chi Hero will be released in the U.S. and Canada early next year.

Related: Specialty Box Office: ‘The Sessions’, ‘All Together,’ ‘Holy Motors’, ‘Tai Chi Zero’

Tai Chi Zero played both the Venice and Toronto film festivals this fall. Its mix of kung fu, steampunk and robots created some buzz and led to Well Go USA’s deal. Read More »

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Paradigm Signs ‘Tai Chi 0′ Helmer Stephen Fung

By | Thursday October 4, 2012 @ 1:35pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Paradigm has signed Hong Kong actor-director Stephen Fung, whose film Tai Chi 0 played at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals and just opened number one at the Chinese box office last weekend. The film is a mesh of martial arts action, Steampunk elements, and video game influences. Fung and Daniel Wu are partners in the production company Diversion Pictures (CAA reps Wu). Fung’s film opened in China with a wide release and grossed 60 yuan to-date ($9.52 million US).

The film will receive a limited theatrical release in North America on October 19th and its sequel, Tai Chi Hero,will be released in January. Agencies have been courting him since the film hit the festival circuit. Here’s a trailer for Tai Chi 0:

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