Jean-Claude Van Damme's 1989 martial arts classic Kickboxer is set to reboot. Actor and martial artist Matthew Ziff has joined the cast. Van Damme then starred as Kurt Sloane, a martial artist who learned the ancient kickboxing art of Muay Thai in order to avenge his brother's death by defeating his killer, Tong Po.
Van Damme is slated to join the cast of the remake, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, he will now play the role of Master Chow; a new version of Sloane's sensei. Negotiations are still being finalized.
Tapped for the lead role is Kurt Sloane; a martial artist and stuntman Alain Moussi of X-Men: Days of Future Past. The villainous Tong Po will be played by WWE superstar and martial artist Dave Bautista, also known for Guardians of the Galaxy. The remake will be directed by In the Blood's John Stockwell.
While Ziff's role in the reboot has not yet been announced, he is looking forward to the remake. He's best known for his film Treachery. He co-starred with Michael Biehn; an estranged father who reunites with his son, only to have things unravel when a thunderstorm traps them in a cabin, forcing the family to reveal deeper secrets. That role garnered Ziff the "Best Actor" award at the 2014 Hoboken Film Festival. He was also honored with the "Rising Star Award" at the Florida's Sunscreen Film Festival; which is supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
UFC welterweight champion, George St. Pierre who recently played the role of Batroc in Captain America: The Winter Soldier will also star in the film. New Orleans native and Kung Fu Cinema favorite Larnell Stovall has signed on to be the action choreographer. He's elated to be filming in his hometown. This is not the first time Stovall and Van Damme have worked together. He was also action director on Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.
Four-time Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductee T.J. Storm has joined the cast. He will also co-star with Ziff in another film set to release next year named The Martial Arts Kid, as this film lends its voice to bullying. While shooting on the set of Kickboxer, Ziff recently tweeted a photo taken with Storm and Moussi.
The latest to join the cast as Kurt Sloane's brother Eric, is IpMan 2's Darren Shahlavi and the female lead is actress Sara Malakul Lane.
Producing the film alongside Tim Field of Radar Pictures are Dimitri Logothetis and Nick Celozzi. Field was quoted as saying, "We are so excited to have Kickboxer roll into production and to have JCVD (Jean-Claude Van Damme) in the role of Master Chow, passing the torch to Alain, to have him lead the franchise to a new generation."
Kickboxer began shooting this week in New Orleans and is said to also shoot in Thailand with a scheduled release date in 2015.