Jean-Claude Van Damme Returning to 'Kickboxer' (Exclusive)

Jean-Claude Van Damme  AP Images/Invision

Jean-Claude Van Damme is returning to the world of Kickboxer, one of the movies that launched his action star career.

The actor is in final negotiations to join the cast of Kickboxer, a franchise remake featuring Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista and X-Men: Days of Future Past actor Alain Moussi. John Stockwell is directing.

This time, however, Van Damme is not the student but the master and is replacing Thai action star Tony Jaa, who dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.

Kickboxer follows Kurt Sloan (Moussi), a talented martial artist who travels to Thailand where he must learn the secrets of the kickboxer to avenge his brother's death at the hands of Tong Po (Bautista).

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Van Damme will play a new version of Master Chow, who teaches Sloan the art of the kick. (Dennis Chan played the part in the 1989 original.)

UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, who played Batroc in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, is also in the cast.

"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 " said Ted Field of Radar Films, who is producing the movie with Dimitri Logothetis and Nick Celozzi. Logothetis and Jim McGrath wrote the script.

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Mike Weber and Peter Meyer are executive producing the pic, which begins shooting this week in New Orleans. It will also shoot in Thailand.

The Exchange is selling the movie worldwide.

Van Damme is repped by Gersh and Specter & Co. and Hirsch Wallerstein.

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