'Kickboxer' Remake Loses Tony Jaa, Gains Jean-Claude Van Damme

The Kickboxer remake has gone through a series of changes recently, with director Stephen Fung and Thai martial artist Tony Jaa both leaving the film. But, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the project has also gained a big name: original star Jean-Claude Van Damme.

The plot of the remake centers on Kurt Sloane (Alain Moussi), a fighter who vows to avenge his brother's death at the hands of Tong Po (Dave Bautista). Sloane will train with Master Chow, now played by Van Damme, who rocketed to stardom with the help of the 1989 original.

"We are so excited to have Kickboxer roll into production and to have JCVD in the role of Master Chow, passing the torch to Alain, to have him lead the franchise to a new generation " Radar Films' Ted Field said in a statement.

Real-life fighters and Marvel Studios alums Bautista and Georges St.-Pierre joined the production in May, followed in August by Jaa and Scott Adkins. The film, now helmed by John Stockwell (Turistas), will start shooting this week in New Orleans before moving to Thailand.

Kickboxer will open sometime next year.

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