Remember 1988’s Bloodsport? The martial arts classic in which Jean-Claude Van Damme starred as one Frank Dux, and introduced the deadly freestyle fighting tournament, the Kumite?
With an eclectic cast, including Forest Whitaker and Hong Kong legend, Bolo Yeung, Bloodsport was one of those guiltily enjoyable pleasures of 80s action cinema, the kind of film that critics queued up to pour scorn on, but thrilled young Van Damme fans such as myself.
A modest financial hit (it earned almost $12 million on its $1 million budget), Bloodsport is also one of the few films of Van Damme’s career that’s (loosely) based on a short story. Frank Dux is, in fact, a real-life martial artist, and the film was inspired by his book, The Secret Man: An American Warrior’s Uncensored Story.
Anyway, that gem of Van Damme’s back catalogue is set to be remade by none other than Phillip Noyce, the Australian director who proved his action prowess with last year’s Angelina Jolie vehicle, Salt. Robert Mark Kamen will be taking up the scriptwriting duties, and given that he’s penned the likes of Lethal Weapon 3, The Transporter and Taken (with Luc Besson acting as co-writer on the latter two), he’s well placed to write an action-heavy piece such as this.
The Bloodsport remake will be produced by Ed Pressman, and according to the site, Screen Daily, who broke the story, the film will be about “an American who goes to Brazil to recover from the violence he has experienced in Afghanistan who gets involved in a martial arts contest” which sounds radically different to the Hong Kong-based action of the original to us.
Bloodsport is another remake for Pressman, who’s also the producer behind the forthcoming reboot of The Crow, the news of which caused a ripple of controversy when it emerged last month, though that production has since been beset with legal difficulties.
Our major question right now is, will there be room in the Bloodsport remake for Van Damme himself? Surely, it’d be criminal not to at least get him in for a cameo role, wouldn’t it? You know, even if he just grumpily kicked an extra and then shuffled off again without saying anything.